PEORIA — The soft buzzing, whirring and blinking that fills the buildings and workshops of the Wheels O' Time Museum didn't take a break for the Fourth of July — instead, the museum kept its doors open and put a number of patriotic vehicles and artifacts on display.
"There are so many people who have the day off, and they have the opportunity to come see the museum and enjoy it on their holiday," said Marcia Johnson, site manager for the museum.
Johnson said this year the museum had a number of items from World War I and World War II on display, as well as a Military Utility Tactical Truck (MUTT) from the Vietnam War and a Humvee loaned out by a museum volunteer.
"Everything about this museum is history, so for people who are interested in coming out and celebrating our country, why, I think we've got a really good place to do it," Johnson said.
Buttons activated model train sets and self-playing pianos as people strolled through the exhibits on trains, cars, riverboats and trinkets from yesteryear.
"It's something out of the ordinary to do for the holiday," said Mary Carlson, who stopped by the museum with her husband Roger. "It takes you down memory lane when you visit, and even to times before you can remember."
The Carlsons stopped by the Ford V8 display and workshop, one of the museum's rotating exhibits. Currently, Wheels O' Time has a 1928 Model A mail truck, a 1964 Ford Galaxy and a 1972 Ford Grand Torino station wagon on display.
But Kenn Sutton said he likes the 1931 Ford Model A convertible best — and he especially loves to watch people when they get to slide in the front seat and honk the car's horn.
"This is one of the few museums where you can push the buttons and get stuff to work," Sutton, a member of the Early Ford V8 Club of Peoria, said.
Wheels O' Time's regular season lasts until Oct. 29, with hours of operation Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 3 to 11. The museum is also part of the Blue Star Program, which offers free admission to all active duty military members and up to five family members.
Maddie Gehling can be reached at 686-3194 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mgehling_pjs.