It is as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie a family favorite that has carted kids, puppies, dolls, treats, trucks and water. It has been transformed into a spaceship, covered wagon, Roman chariot and countless other childhood fantasies.
The classic Radio Flyer red wagon turns 80 this year. To commemorate the occasion, the Radio Flyer Co. presents a “Memories Contest” seeking essays and photographs portraying stories of the little red wagon. All ages are eligible. Winning entries will be based on reminiscences of the red wagon’s role in make-believe play, neighborhood entrepreneurship, sibling stunts, family festivities, childhood imaginings …
The grand-prize winner will receive an all-expense paid trip for four to Walt Disney World. A first-prize winner will receive two round-trip tickets to any destination in the continental United States. Second-prize winners, 10 in all, can choose a Radio Flyer wagon of their choice. Twenty-five third-prize winners will receive a special commemorative 80th anniversary edition of the Streak-O-Lite wagon (a quarter-scale wagon complete with control dials and working headlights). Fifty finalists will receive a limited-edition collector’s wagon featuring Radio Flyer’s decal.
The Radio Flyer Co. was originally named The Liberty Coaster Co. when its Italian founder, Antonio Pasin, viewed the Statue of Liberty when he immigrated to the United States. He began his company in 1917 with a toy coaster wagon, followed by the stamped metal wagon called Radio Flyer.
The company, still owned and operated by the Pasin family, changed its name in 1987 to reflect its popular product.
The basic wagon design remains intact, modified slightly to include modern safety features. Today, 8,000 red wagons are produced daily.
To enter the Radio Flyer Memories Contest, send an essay of 100 words or less, or a photo, to: Memories Contest, 625 N. Michigan Ave., No. 2400, Chicago, IL 60611. (Photos will not be returned). Contest deadline is Jan. 15, 1998.
Calendar by allergy artists
Children with allergies know what it’s like to endure a day with itchy eyes, runny noses and constant sneezing. Nationwide, young allergy sufferers, 6 to 12 years old, put their experiences on paper in an art contest, “Young Artists Against Allergies,” sponsored by Schering Laboratories, makers of Claritin antihistamine syrup.
The artwork of the 15 contest winners is featured in a whimsical 1997-98 school calendar. Kids with allergies can learn plenty of tips on each page, but you don’t have to be an allergy sufferer to enjoy its bright, youthful drawings. The free calendar is available by calling (800) 782-4545.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Drawing of a wagon
MEMO: The Family Track is a weekly column of notes and information for families. Send items to Lynn Gibson, Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615, or fax (509) 459-5098.
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