DARKE COUNTY — Tractor and steam power enthusiasts of all ages gathered at York Woods for the 59th annual reunion of the Darke County Steam Threshers Association, held Thursday through Sunday.
“We’ve got something for everybody,” said Steam Threshers President David Gibson. “For $5 you can visit all four days and enjoy flea markets, music, entertainment, food, exhibitions — a little bit of everything.”
The event has been held annually since 1956. Gibson estimated that approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people had walked through the entrance since Thursday’s opening.
“Attendance has been really good so far. About the same as the last couple of years,” he said. “The good weather has helped.”
Gibson said this year’s gathering featured about 20 steam engines, 50 tractors, 30 gas engines, plus an untold number of garden tractors.
“We’ve had more engines this year than we have in the past several years,” said Steam Threshers Vice President Jo Stuck. “The trustees worked hard to get things back to where it was years ago.”
Gibson added, “We also brought the horse pull back, which we hadn’t had for a few years. That, and we brought back some musical bands.”
For young eventgoers, the Steam Threshers staged a kiddie tractor pull and allowed children to use scale-model steam engines to slice watermelons, among other activities.
“It’s a family friendly event,” said Stuck. “Kids can get involved. There’s a lot of history to learn and this is a good place to learn it.”
Vendors were on hand, selling food, crafts, farm equipment, and die-cast tractors, among other items.
A steam-powered calliope, wood sawing and threshing demonstrations entertained eventgoers throughout the festival.
Upcoming events for the association include the 127 Garage Sale held August 6-9 and the Massacre Mill Haunted Woods from September 25 to October 31.
For more information on the Steam Threshers, visit its website at www.darkecountysteam.com.
To watch exclusive videos and see more photos from the event, visit the Daily Advocate’s Facebook page at “Advocate360.”