McLouth The garden tractors purred loudly and lawn mower drivers waited for a chance to zip around the dirt track at the 49th annual Threshing Bee in McLouth.
Hundreds of people tried to escape scorching hot temperatures Saturday afternoon and kicked back in shady spots either near their campsites or underneath tents or trees.
"All small towns have their festival or deal. This is McLouth's. It's gone on a long time," said Jim Kimmel, a farmer who grew up in the McLouth area.
The festival started almost half a century ago when community members gathered to thresh wheat saved from the harvest.
Now, wheat-threshing demonstrations are still part of the three-day festival, but tractors pulls, food vendors, exhibitors and live bands also draw in the crowds.
Kimmel said the farming tradition was still an important part to be preserved at the festival even with the other events.
"If that draws in a few more people out and gets them to take a look at the way things used to be done, then all the better," he said.
9 a.m.: Church service 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.: Wheat Threshing 7 p.m.: OTTPA Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pull Admission is $10 for adults. McLouth is on Kansas Highway 16 northwest of Tonganoxie. Follow the Threshing Bee signs in town.
Jared Wrosch, 25, from Onaga, sat on his garden tractor waiting for competition Saturday afternoon. He said after he showed off his tractor's pulling power, he would walk around and visit the different items for sale in the barns and maybe listen to some fiddling music.
"I think it's pretty good for people to see," Wrosch said. "A lot of people don't know how thing used to be done. You get to learn how they were done in the old days."
The three-day festival will end with events today. Admission costs $10 for adults. Children age 12 and younger and exhibitors can get in for free.