Kenosha’s electric streetcars will be celebrated on Saturday (Sept. 15) during the sixth annual Kenosha Streetcar Day.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., people can tour the “streetcar barn” (Joseph McCarthy Transit Center, 724 54th St.) and take in interactive displays, vendors and more.
For Kenosha Streetcar Day, the Kenosha Area Streetcar Society and Kenosha Area Transit get together every year to celebrate the city’s unique attraction.
The big doors of the McCarthy Transit Center on 54th Street are opened up, and everyone is invited inside to see how the streetcars are restored and maintained.
Like many cities, Kenosha had streetcar and interurban lines for decades, but the ascension of the automobile in America sent those conveyances to the scrap heap more than half a century ago.
The current line came into being with the HarborPark development, and streetcars started rolling in June 2000.
The streetcars will be in operation and available for photos. Two cars will be running at a time while the others are on display.
The city has seven streetcars. Each car is painted in the colors and lettering of a North American city that operated the cars in the 1940s and 1950s — Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Toronto, Chicago, Johnstown, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Six of the cars were operated by the Toronto Transportation Commission from 1951 to 1995. The seventh car operated in Philadelphia from 1948 to 1993.
Streetcar Day also celebrates the 70th year of operation for streetcar 2185, which was built in 1948 for the Philadelphia Transport Company by the St. Louis Car Company. Rebuilt in the mid-1980s, it saw service for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority until 1992.
The streetcars run on a two-mile loop that provides views of Lake Michigan, HarborPark, downtown and the Metra train station. Stops include the McCarthy Transit Center, Eighth Avenue and 54th Street.
The event is presented by the Kenosha Streetcar Society, Kenosha Area Transit and other organizations.
It costs $1 to ride the streetcar (50 cents for ages 5-12; free for kids age 4 and younger). An all-day pass is $3.50. Exact fare is required.