Threshers show builds up steam in Plain City

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The Miami Valley Steam Threshers Show, which centers on antique steam engines and tractors, isn’t just a show-and-tell spectacle. Spectators also can experience the event hands-on.

The able bodied can pitch wheat into the threshing machine, off-load wood at the sawmill, or lend a hand in the blacksmith shop.

“Anybody can get involved in any of the demonstrations,” said Gary Gallimore, association president.

This year’s show will take place July 12-15 in Pastime Park off of Route 42 in Plain City. In addition to the activities already mentioned, the show will include daily demonstrations of shingle milling, bailing, and draft horses, as well as a flea market, arts, crafts, food, children’s activities, and roaming musicians playing everything from bluegrass to 1950s rock-and-roll.

One of the show’s biggest interactive features is the Friday night parade, a 2.8-mile spectacle that winds through Plain City and lasts 2.5 hours. Anyone is welcome to participate in the parade. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at the park. The parade steps off at 6 p.m.

“Every year, we get calls from people who want to make sure the parade route is the same,” Gallimore said. “A lot of people base their summer parties on it. There are homes on the route that have 50 or 60 people in the yard watching.”

Roughly half the parade entries are related to the Steam Threshers Show. The other half represent local businesses, youth groups, churches, civic organizations, and queens from festivals around the state. There is no cost to enter or to watch the parade.

As for the Steam Threshers Show itself, admission to the grounds is $5 per person. Children under age 12 are admitted without charge. Senior citizens can enter for $2 on Thursday. Parking is available on the grounds. All equipment will be in operation starting at 10 a.m. each day.

On Thursday, the Ragtime Strutters will perform from 5 to 8 p.m. On Friday, the Sterling Bluegrass Boys will play from 2 to 4 p.m., and the Muleskinners Band will perform from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Saturday’s action starts at 9 a.m. with the Ohio Antique Pullers tractor pull, which lasts all day. The Ragtime Strutters will perform again from 1 to 4 p.m. The Ohio Classic Pullers tractor pull starts at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, a church service will take place at 8 a.m. The Steam Threshers Association will hold a non-sanctioned fun tractor pull at 10 a.m. The kiddie tractor pull will be held at 2 p.m. on the baseball diamond.

Farm equipment enthusiasts will have plenty to see all four days of the festival. A wide variety of makes and models will be on display. The featured company this year is Rumely, which manufactured tractors in the early 1900s. Rumely tractors originally were fashioned after steam engines, Gallimore said. Other products that fell under the Rumely umbrella were Advance, Aultman-Taylor and Garr-Scott.

Rumely Products Collectors Inc. chose the Steam Threshers Show as the location for their annual national expo. Members will show off pieces from their collections, including some rare ones.

“I think we’ll have every model of Rumely there that was ever made,” Gallimore said.

For more show information, call 614-296-5814. During the show, call 614-270-0007. The Rumely features contacts are Tom Burer at 513-317-7435 and Mark Schleppi at 614-491-2322. The tractor pulls contact is Steve Obert at 614-877-9643. The show’s Web site can be found at www.miamivalleysteamshow.org.

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