BEAVERCREEK — Joe Mock was 4 when he first rode on a train at Carillon Historical Park.
But his dad, Ron Mock, is to credit, who started volunteering at the historical park in 1984 and soon introduced his son to the trains.
“Growing up my whole life, there were trains involved in anything that we did,” the younger Mock of Beavercreek said. “All family vacations involved getting to ride in trains or look at trains.”
Mock recalled the family train trip to Colorado, visiting railroad museums across the country, and operating miniature steam engines with his dad.
He said his dad’s life-long passion for trains began when his dad got his first Marx Model train as a boy. That interest continued into adulthood, when he volunteered at Carillon Park and later served as president of the Dayton Railway Historical Society.
And much like the way Ron Mock shared his love of trains with his family, he wanted to share trains with other families, too.
So he founded the Carillon Park Rail Festival in 2005.
Held every June since, the family-oriented festival promotes all things train-related. This year’s event, which will be held Saturday-Sunday, June 23-24 at the park, will feature free miniature train rides, live steam engines, model train displays — including a LEGO train display — and other historical displays throughout the park. Vendors will also be there, selling food and model trains and toy trains.
“The goal is for families with kids to come and see the trains,” said Mock, who has helped put on the event since its debut. “It’s exposing the next generation to trains and the train hobby and the model railroading hobby.”
Thirty-three years since he first began riding on trains at the park, Mock is now president of the Carillon Park Rail & Steam Society. The club builds, operates and runs the 1/8 scale railroad inside the park, giving rides on the miniature trains about twice a month.
Even though his dad died in 2014, the festival continues. Last year, a record 7,000 attended.
Mock hopes for another good turnout this weekend at Carillon Historical Park, where his 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter might be spotted riding a train, too.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.