With parents in tow, toddlers descended on the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum Saturday morning to meet Daniel Tiger, star of the award-winning PBS KIDS television series “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”
Terry and Veronica Burnsworth of Beaver County brought their daughter Valerie, 2½, who carried a Margaret stuffed animal (Daniel’s little sister), to the sold-out breakfast and photo op.
“She loves Daniel Tiger. She’s watched all of the episodes and she has a Daniel T-shirt and sweatshirt. She had a Daniel Tiger birthday party and she went to see his show in Pittsburgh,” Veronica Burnsworth said.
Daniel Tiger greeted children following the breakfast and rode the trolley with them.
Reagan Bayne, 3, of Mars, sidled up to Daniel Tiger as he sat on a bench and smiled as the tiger put his arm around her and posed for a picture.
“She is a huge fan of the show and she loves trains, and we’re always looking for something fun to do as a family,” said Reagan’s mom, Amy, as her husband, Rob, toured the antique trolley collection in the trolley display building.
The trolley museum offered other activities, including playtime in The Enchanted Garden filled with bubble wands, giant chalk and spinning flowers, and a WQED outreach booth.
The museum partnered with WQED to bring Daniel Tiger to Washington County, and First Energy Foundation provided funding.
Last year, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” filmed a segment at the trolley museum, which featured the museum’s 1911 yellow open trolley car – similar to the model trolley car used in the television show.
“It’s a great partnership with WQED. Fred Rogers loved trolleys, and this is a continuation of that,” said Scott Becker, executive director of the trolley museum. “Our goal is to make sure everyone has a great visitors’ experience.”
The museum is hosting Mr. McFeely’s Parade of Trolleys on June 25.
Beth Mastrangelo of North Fayette Township brought her daughter Andie, 3, who said delightedly on the trolley, “This is fun!”
“My daughter watches the show a lot and she loves it,” said Mastrangelo. “The show has positive messages, like people are different than you and we have to be accepting of that, and the songs all have positive messages. My friend told me about this event, and we didn’t want to miss it.”
Daniel Tiger will appear at breakfast Sunday and will remain at the trolley museum throughout the day to meet children.
“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is based on the next generation of the original “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” characters. The original characters have grown up and now have preschoolers of their own.