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Archive for Tuesday, August 1, 1995

THRESHING BEE ADDS FEATURES

August 1, 1995

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— The 38th Annual Steam Engine Show and Threshing Bee kicks off Friday in McLouth.

A lineup change and a new star attraction await visitors to the 1995 Steam Engine Show and Threshing Bee this weekend.

An antique tractor pull traditionally held on Saturday will start at 7 p.m. Friday after tractors weigh in from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

To make way for the pull, a stage show traditionally held on Friday has been bumped to Saturday.

Melinda Farr, director of advertising and public relations for the event's organizing committee, said the changes stem from surveys conducted last year.

"We like to visit with as many people as we can, just to ask them if there's anything different they'd like us to do," Farr said. "We try to accommodate as many spectators as possible."

Another change debuting in the show is the awarding of tractor of the year. The tractor will be displayed along with the steam engine of the year, a staple of the 38-year-old event.

Farr said the committee established the new award "to make everything more inclusive and to add interest" in the event.

A 1917 Aultman-Taylor 3060 tractor owned by Hey Machinery, Baldwin, is the first award winner. Engine of the year is a 1923 Keck-Gonnerman owned by Michael Wurm, Topeka.

The show began in 1957 when steam engine enthusiasts Herman "Slim" Watson and his wife, Myrta, invited owners of steam engines to demonstrate their equipment.

Since then, the event has grown to include a host of items and equipment, such as gas engines, antique automobiles and antique aircraft.

Other attractions include a flea market and crafts booths, a blacksmith shop, daily parades and a draft-horse pull.

Parades are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Organizers say they expect the show to draw 15,000 visitors to the show grounds, at the junction of highways 92 and 16.

Here is a schedule of events:

Friday

  • Antique tractor pull, 7 p.m. Weigh-in will be held from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Patio dance, 8 p.m. to midnight.

Saturday

  • Sheep dog trials, 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Pedal tractor pull, 10 a.m.
  • Stage show, featuring Straw Boss, 7 p.m.
  • Patio dance, 8 p.m. to midnight.

Sunday

  • Church services, 9:30 a.m.
  • Country dancing exhibition by the Heart of America Dancers, 2 p.m.
  • Mini hot rod pull, 4 p.m.
  • Draft horse pull, 8 p.m.

Admission will be charged for the event, which features handicapped-accessible gates and restrooms.

Helicopter rides will be given at the Threshing Bee Airport. Campgrounds are available.

The McLouth Kiwanis Club will serve old-fashioned threshers' meals all three days.

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