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Farming in olden days to be displayed

Staff writer

Visitors to Goessel’s 50th annual Threshing Days this weekend will get a look at the way farming was done a century ago.

Each year, Threshing Days brings throngs of people to learn how Mennonite farmers worked the land after their arrival in 1874 at what is now Goessel.

Sawmill demonstrations; threshing demonstrations; large engines in operation; children’s activities; draft horse demonstrations; prairie tractor demonstrations; corn binding, shelling, and cutting demonstrations; blacksmith demonstrations; and traditional Mennonite favorite foods are part of the festival.

The festival is organized by Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Co., chartered in 1973 by 17 antique engine enthusiasts.

The Wichita band Haymakers will headline Threshing Days, performing at 7 p.m. Friday in the high school auditorium. The band describes its music as “quality Kansas jam.”

Band members are Dustin Arbuckle, vocals and harmonica; Thomas Page, guitar and harmony vocals; Dennis Hardin, mandolin and harmony vocals; and Caleb Drummond, upright bass and harmony vocals.

Here’s the schedule:

Friday

Lunch at Wheat Hall will be 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sawmill demonstrations will be all afternoon and pedal tractor raffle tickets will be on sale.

Large engine startup will be at 2 and 4 p.m.

Threshing demonstrations will begin at 3 p.m.

Field demonstrations of corn binding, shelling, and cutting will be at 3:30 p.m.

Haymakers will perform at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Donations will be accepted.

Saturday

Breakfast will be 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Wheat Hall

A parade on Main St. will begin at 9:30 a.m.

A kiddie barnyard petting zoo in Schroeder Barn and children’s activities at Uncle Milt’s Shed will be 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Threshing demonstrations will be at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Field demonstrations will be at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

Prairie tractor start-up will be at 12:30 p.m.

Draft horse, sawmill and blacksmith demonstrations will be all afternoon.

Pedal tractor pull and large engine start-ups will be at 2 p.m.

German food, including cheese-filled verenika dumplings with ham gravy, German country sausage, zwieback pudding, cherry moos, bierock stuffed rolls, and New Year’s cookies will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Goessel Elementary School.

Barbecue beef sandwiches, bierocks, chips, monster cookies, and New Year’s cookies will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the 1906 Prep School on the museum grounds.

Supper in Wheat Hall will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Sunday

Breakfast will be 7 to 9 a.m. at the Wheat Hall. A worship service will be at 9:30 a.m.

Sunday dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wheat Hall.

Children’s activities will be 12:30 to 3 p.m. in Uncle Milt’s Shed.

Prairie tractor and large engine start-ups and sawmill, threshing, and field demonstrations will be 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Admission costs $5 for ages 13 and older. Meal proceeds benefit Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum.

Admission includes Mennonite Heritage Museum and seven other buildings.

The museum is in a 200-by-18-foot replica of one of the two immigrant houses built for Mennonites who came to the area in 1874. Other buildings include Turkey Red Wheat Palace, 1902 Schroeder barn, 1875 Krause house, and a country school.

Threshing Days also offers displays of antique farm equipment ranging from old and rusty to shiny and restored. Tractors range from lawn tractors to prairie tractors.

Last year, 142 tractors, steam engines, trucks, and threshers were on display. Classic and antique cars and gleaners also were on display.

Last modified Aug. 3, 2023

 

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