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Home News Organizers plan one-time fall threshing festival due to absence of spring event

Organizers plan one-time fall threshing festival due to absence of spring event

Organizers plan one-time fall threshing festival due to absence of spring event
Hubert Smith by a Dion threshing machine from the 1930's. Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

It won’t be as big as it normally would, but the Vintage Power Machines Museum still hopes to give residents a good look at how older generations used to farm on the prairies with a special one-day threshing festival on Sept. 18.

Museum president Alan Andal said COVID-19 restrictions mean they won’t be able to host all the events and displays they normally do. However, organizers are hopeful they can still give attendees a good show.

“It’s a smaller version of what we’ve always done,” Andal said during an interview on Tuesday. “Hopefully next spring we’ll have our regular timeframe, and we’ll have a two-day show again.”

Regular events like the threshing machine demonstration will still go ahead between 1-5 p.m. on Saturday. Attendees can also get rides on the museum’s vintage 1916 steam tractor, and stationary engine and blacksmithing demonstrations will continue throughout the day. Gate entry is by donation.

Larger events, like the vintage tractor pull, have been postponed until next year.

The museum faces a cash crunch, partially because they couldn’t hold their annual two-day festival as usual, but largely due to a loss of grant funding from the feds, province and rural municipality.

Andal estimates is cost them around $20,000 this year alone.

“We’re just going to hope that people might make donations,” he said. “We’ll go on whatever we get that way, just as a bonus. If we get it, we get it.”

Andal thanked museum members for their efforts in keeping the displays and machines in good working order. Some machines, like the steam tractor, likely wouldn’t even be going without the contributions of dedicated donors and volunteers.

Andal added that the threshing festival has become an annual family event for residents from across Canada. He said it’s common to see parents who first attended the festival as kids bring their children to enjoy the experience.

“They’ll see a lot of the old things that grandma and grandpa, or all the different older generations have done in the past in the province and stuff like that,” Andal explained. “We just try to keep it a little bit alive. All these things are things that young kids today would have never come across otherwise.”

The Vintage Power Machines Threshing Festival runs from 1-5 p.m. on Sept. 18. The first 300 people through the gates will receive a $5 coupon from Smitty’s. Organizers are also selling 50/50 tickets for $5, with proceeds going to the museum.

Tickets are available at NAPA Traction Heavy Duty Truck Parts, Park Range Veterinary Services, and the Prince Albert Daily Herald. Tickets can also be purchased by calling Alan at 306-960-8168, or Percy at 961-1471.