GOESSEL — Farming, food and fun will be the focus of this year's County Threshing Days, held Aug. 4, 5 and 6 at the show grounds next to the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum, 200 N. Poplar in Goessel.
More than 100 exhibitors will come to display and demonstrate antique equipment related to farming during the past century. Younger generations can learn how much manual labor was involved in farming decades ago. Even with the help of machines, farmers had to work without the aid of air conditioning or GPS.
"The older generation looks back and says, 'that was a lot of hard work,'" said Gerald Wright, president of Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing company.
Each year, one brand of tractors is chosen to be in the event's spotlight and this year's County Threshing Days features Ford tractors.
Between 1917 and 1928, Ford sold cars, trucks and tractors. In the United States, tractors were produced by Ford with the brand name of Fordson. Fordson tractors continued to be produced in England until 1964.
Using the tractors and other farm machinery, County Threshing Days attendees will be able to see demonstrations of plowing, combining, wheat and corn threshing, binding, shelling and ensilage cutting.
Working steam engines will be powering a sawmill and threshing machine.
"We like to use them rather than just let people look at them," Wright said. "We'll be baling some of the straw that comes out of the threshing machine."
Last year a local Model T club assembled a 1923 Model TT truck which had been donated in pieces. The club got it running and drove it around the show and the vehicle will make a return appearance this year. Demonstrations of blacksmithing and other arts and crafts will also take place.
Returning to the event by popular demand are draft horse demonstrations by members of the Kansas Draft Horse and Mule Association. The horses will pull plows and wagons to show how farming was done before the steam engine.
"Our mission is to demonstrate to the public the way our forefathers broke the land," said Gene Seibert, KDHMA president.
Professional ventriloquist Greg Claassen will give a performance at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Goessel High School Auditorium, 100 E. Main St. There is no admission fee, but donations will be taken to support the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum.
Uncle Milt's Shed will house children's activities from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 5 and noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 6.
The kiddie pedal pull will start at 2 p.m. Aug. 5. and there will also be a raffle for a restored Ford Commander 6000 pedal tractor.
Attendees can watch two parades on Aug. 5 — the first at 9:30 a.m. and the Parade of Power at 1 p.m.
Keith's Foods will serve up three meals each day of the event. Attendees can enjoy a Low-German meal from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 at the Goessel Elementary School, 500 E. Main St. The lunch will include traditional favorites like verenika with ham gravy, German country sausage, zwieback, cole slaw, bierocks, cherry moos and New Year's cookies.
The weekend will also include a 4-on-4 sand volleyball tournament at West Branch Park in Goessel on Aug. 5. Co-ed teams of at least two males and two females can enter for $25, which includes one T-shirt and one Threshing Days button. For more information, visit. http://www.tdayssandvb.org.
A 5k walk/run will start at 7 a.m. Aug. 5 at Goessel High School. This event is run by the Goessel High School cross country team as a fundraiser for training equipment, team meal expenses and post-season expenses. The entry fee is $25, which includes an aluminum water bottle, participant medal and one admission button per paid entry to the Threshing Days festivities. Contact Brian Lightner at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A worship and song celebration led by Glenn and Sheila Litke will take place at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 6.
Admission for County Threshing Days is $5 at the gate or $4 in advance and free for children under 12 years of age. Admission buttons good for all three days are available at Keith’s Foods, 216 E. Main St. in Goessel and the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum.
Anyone who wants to exhibit or demonstrate equipment is welcome to do so during the Country Threshing Days and will receive free admission.
For more information about County Threshing Days, call 620-367-8200 or visit http://www.wheatco.org/threshing-days.html or http://www.goesselmuseum.com.