Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, August 5, 2007

Threshing Bee draws thousands

August 5, 2007

Advertisement

Matt Petty, left, of Meriden and Less McDonald, of Lincoln, Neb., cut firewood Saturday with Jeff Mathews, of Lecompton, not pictured, at the 50th annual Threshing Bee in McLouth. Mathews, who has been running engines at the bee for 25 years, said they were using a freelance half-scale steam engine.

Matt Petty, left, of Meriden and Less McDonald, of Lincoln, Neb., cut firewood Saturday with Jeff Mathews, of Lecompton, not pictured, at the 50th annual Threshing Bee in McLouth. Mathews, who has been running engines at the bee for 25 years, said they were using a freelance half-scale steam engine.

50th anniversary of the McLouth Threshing Bee

Mary Watson Hinds describes the history of the McLouth Threshing Bee Enlarge video

— It was tractor madness in McLouth on Saturday, as thousands descended on the small town for its 50th annual Threshing Bee.

A steam-threshing demonstration, which gave onlookers a glimpse of how farmers used to separate the wheat from the chaff, is the foundation of the three-day exhibition.

Gerry Stoltenberg, of Topeka, said his grandfather was on a threshing crew.

"I came up with him about 30 years ago, to see what it's all about," Stoltenberg said. "We wanted to come back and take another look."

In another demonstration, an old tractor was used to operate a saw mill.

The exhibition has grown into more than just demonstrations over the years.

Several rows of old and new tractors lined the Threshing Bee grounds, some for sale, some for display, some for getting around and some for competition.

People flocked to the garden tractor pull, in which tractor drivers took turns pulling a heavy sled along a track, which became progressively resistant. Whoever makes it farthest wins.

"A lot of people ... like to come and see the old tractors, the threshing," said Randy Wilson, a 30-year McLouth resident. "They come from all over, different states, to this place."

Anna and Robert Garner, of Harveyville, were celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary, after being married at last year's Threshing Bee.

Anna Garner hopped out of a tent, which the couple turns into their living quarters during the event, packed a cooler with beer and headed to watch her husband compete in the tractor pull.

"It's just family fun," Anna Garner said. "Getting away, having a good time, talking to people, making new friends."

Organizers were hoping to top the between 2,500 and 3,000 people who attended the event in the past few years, said Lu Ann Petty, treasurer of the bee.

"It's looking pretty good," she said. "This is a very good crowd."

The festival ends today. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children ages 12 and younger.

Comments

Nick Yoho 7 years, 4 months ago

Nice,community,that is what is often missing in life.A return to simpler times.It warms the heart.Reminds me of how modern comforts and distractions tear at the fabric of community,and perhaps our very souls.The easy and comfort of Televised disinfotainment,along with air conditioning is keeping the meaningful dialog closed.Look where our country is going,these are the reasons.Along with cars and planes.There was a time when folks depended on each other.that time is gone.At a huge cost,too.Soon we will need each other again,just to survive.All because we have had unsustainable lifestyles shoved down our throats,for the profits of soulless corporations,whom were granted personhood in the 1800s,and which your retirement fund relies on for growth!Wake up,please.Go outside,garden,meet your neighbors,kill your television and park your car.>end of rant. I recommend the prairie ale,down on Mass.-Peace

Commenting has been disabled for this item.