Archive for Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Steam engines warming up for McLouth festival

August 1, 2001

The 44th annual Threshing Bee and Steam Engine Show will offer a look back in time this weekend in McLouth.

The show, which features old-fashioned steam engines at work, runs Friday through Sunday in McLouth.

Bill Robinson Sr., who's been involved with the show for 43 of its 44 years, said this year's event promises to be fun for all ages.

"On Friday, the Faris Family is going to play some bluegrass," said Robinson, 70. "And we're going to have a tractor rodeo following the parade on Friday. That's new. That will be a lot of fun for everybody who wants to get involved with their tractors. That will be something to see."

Robinson said he's also looking forward to the antique/classic tractor pull on the Saturday afternoon, particularly the open class portion of the event.

"That will be rough and tumble," he said. "Those boys have some fast machines. You can run as fast as you want to. You can put it in another gear, and they go, go, go."

Of course, the annual festival will feature plenty of threshing by antique threshers.

Robinson said the festival is something he looks forward to each year. He got hooked on threshing when he was just a boy.

"I got hooked on it when grandpa used to have the Purdy boys thrash on his farm," he said.

His grandfather told him to sit on the straw blower seat and not touch anything.

"I just sat there for hours on end, watching that thing," Robinson said. "I guess it's nostalgia that kept me involved in it all those years."

Robinson actually has retired from any type of official capacity with the show. But he's still intimately involved.

This year's show is in memory of Ed Hein, who died several weeks ago.

Hein was a longtime participant and supporter of the show.

Hein's wife, Bonnie, has donated an engine and separator to the show.

"That was so gracious of her to do that," he said. "He'd been with it a long time, and we're certainly going to miss him."

Here are highlights of the bee:


10 a.m., threshing.

1:30 p.m., parade, followed by a tractor rodeo.

2:30 p.m., threshing.

7 p.m., Faris Family performs bluegrass and gospel music.

9 p.m. to midnight, patio dance, music by Legacy.


10 a.m., threshing.

11 a.m., pedal power tractor pull.

1:30 p.m., parade, followed by antique garden tractor pull.

2:30 p.m., threshing.

4 p.m., distance antique/classic tractor pull.

8 p.m. to midnight, a patio dance, music by Flint Hills Thunder.


9:30 a.m., church services.

10 a.m., threshing.

1:30 p.m., parade.

2:30 p.m., threshing.

3 p.m., pony pull.

5 p.m., draft horse pull.


Flea market and craft show.

Sawing logs.

Sawing wood shingles.

Straw baler.

Blacksmith shop.

Miniature steam engines.

Antique gas engines and tractors, and cars.

Steam-engine powered baker fan.

Aultman-Taylor gas tractor.

Corliss steam engine with five-ton flywheel.

Petting zoo.

Children's carnival ride.

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