ILION – The Ilion Masonic Temple masons are hosting their 11th annual FunTrak Train Show this weekend. Train sets from N scale, HO scale and beyond will be on display upstairs and down at the temple until 4 p.m. Saturday and again 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
“It changes every year,” said show organizer and FunTrak President Brian King. “It’s bigger this year. It’s the same only different year to year.”
The FunTrak train club puts on about a dozen shows each year, King said. Members put on the shows at Utica’s Union Station every January, the Oneida County Historical Society every Christmastime and the Fonda Fair, around Labor Day, and of course the Masonic Temple show every April, he said.
King himself founded FunTrak back in 1992 after retiring from the Navy and moving to Frankfort. The club’s first show was held in 1994 at Mohawk Valley Community College.
“It brings back memories from my childhood,” said train set enthusiast Lorenzo Franchi. Franchi is a FunTrak member. His display includes a rotating tornado and other scenes from popular movies including “Ants!” and “Godzilla.”
“Growing up in Little Falls, we’d watch the trains go by,” he continued. “They used to throw gum and Lifesavers from the caboose to kids along the track. Of course this was back in the 60s.”
People of all ages were in attendance Saturday morning.
“I like to do this, as an adult, to see the kids reaction,” Franchi said. “They run in and see the tornado and the trains and get excited. It’s fun to see. Makes you feel good.”
Entrance into the show is $3 for adults and $2 for kids.