Archive for Wednesday, July 31, 1996

THRESHING BEE PROMISES HOT TIME

July 31, 1996

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— The 39th Annual McLouth Steam Engine Show and Threshing Bee begins Friday.

When the folks who run the McLouth Steam Engine Show and Threshing Bee promise a hot time, believe them.

"You crawl on one of those steam engines, you get up a 120-pound head of steam and you know what hot is," said Bill Robinson, who's been helping organize the show for 37 years. "You've got to love it to do it."

The event, which began on a McLouth family's farm, is a three-day festival of music, food and competition.

But mostly it's about nostalgia, in the form of Industrial Age steam-powered farm equipment. Tons of heavy metal will rumble across the show grounds on studded iron wheels, hissing and belching smoke while operators pour fuel to fire boxes.

Originally held 39 years ago on a McLouth family's farm, the Steam Engine Show and Threshing Bee is always held the first full weekend of August, and will take place Friday through Sunday this year.

Robinson said an average of 10,000 people pour through the gates over the three days of the event. Throughout McLouth, a community whose official population is listed at 883, residents hold garage sales to capitalize on the influx of visitors.

"Why we draw like we do, it's hard to say," Robinson said. "We try to put on a good show and make sure there's something for everybody."

Part of the draw is the admission price, Robinson said. A one-time charge of $5 allows visitors to wander the grounds all three days, taking in events such as an antique tractor pull, a pedal-power tractor pull for children, a stage show and two outdoor dances.

"Where can you go for $5 and get three days of entertainment?" Robinson said.

Equipment goes on display Friday morning at the show grounds, three blocks south of the junction of Kansas highways 16 and 92. McLouth is 15 miles north of Lawrence.

Following is a schedule of threshing bee special events:

Friday

  • 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. -- Threshing demonstrations.
  • 1:30 p.m. -- Parade begins.
  • 7 p.m. -- Antique tractor pull begins.
  • 8 p.m. to midnight -- Patio dance.

Saturday

  • 8 a.m. -- Mud volleyball tournament begins.
  • 9 a.m. -- Sheep dog trials begin.
  • 10 a.m. -- Pedal power tractor pull begins.
  • 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. -- Threshing demonstrations.
  • 1:30 p.m. -- Parade begins.
  • 7 p.m. -- Stage show begins.
  • 8 p.m. to midnight -- Patio dance.

Sunday

  • 9:30 a.m. -- Church services begin.
  • 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. -- Threshing demonstrations.
  • 1:30 p.m. -- Parade begins.
  • 2 p.m. -- Country dancing exhibition begins.
  • 4 p.m. -- Miniature hot rod pull begins.
  • 8 p.m. -- Draft horse pull begins.

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