McLouth Ron Johnson attended his first McLouth Threshing Bee in 1982.
Nearly 30 years later, the bee continues to maintain a link to agriculture’s past.
“We’re just trying to keep it alive,” said Johnson, of McLouth.
Friday morning, Johnson was helping fellow McLouth resident Thomas Bledsoe start his Ford tractor, which dates to the 1930s. The tractor’s features are a far cry from features in today’s tractors, such as air conditioning and automatic transmissions.
Nearby was Johnson’s corn sheller, another farm relic from the 1930s, and east of it on the grounds sat a steam engine powering the saw mill.
Attending the bee for the second year is Darrel Sommerfield, of Tecumseh. He offers covered wagon rides on the bee grounds for $1. Sommerfield had been part of the Flint Hills/Overland Wagon Trail, but earlier this year it disbanded because of lack of interest. Sommerfield, like Johnson, is glad to have events such as the Threshing Bee that continue to keep history alive. One of Sommerfield’s bigger events each year is Symphony in the Flint Hills, he said.
The 54th annual Threshing Bee kicked off Friday and will continue through Sunday. Daily events are steam threshing exhibitions at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and an antique tractor and car show. The antique and classic tractor pull starts at noon today and the youth tractor pull at 5 p.m. Music by local band County Road 5 will start at 8 p.m. today.
On Sunday, the garden tractor pull starts at 1 p.m.
The McLouth Kiwanis Club is serving breakfast each day from 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
To enter the Threshing Bee grounds, turn south from Kansas Highway 16 near McLouth High School.
For more information, go to mclouththreshingbee.com.