by Kathy Tretter
This is one of those “come one, come all” situations that can be exemplified by the phrase “the more the merrier!”
The St. Meinrad Volunteer Fire Department, in conjunction with Early Days Antique Tractor Club will host a Fire and Farm Expo on Sunday, October 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Central time (for those on fast time that translates to 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Since 1987, members of St. Meinrad’s Volunteer Fire Department have hosted an Open House. According to Chief Tom Kloeck, prior to the Open House the department held a Firemen’s Ball but switched to the new format to encourage families to visit the station.
Kloeck recalls the Open House included a raffle (as did the ball), along with free popcorn and soft drinks. According to Tom’s wife, Sue, the Open House evolved from a hot dogs and popcorn event into a full fledged dinner, still hosted at the fire station, despite a noticeable lack of available parking.
Enter the Early Days Antique Tractor Club. For many years the club held an exhibition on the Francis Lindauer Farm in rural Ferdinand at which attendees could experience what farming had been like in the era when a horse pulled the plow and early tractors and steam engines were a novelty.
In 1999 the show in Ferdinand came to an end and the club joined with St. Meinrad’s Fire Department for a large event that has been growing exponentially ever since!
As the event grew so did the need for more space and it was moved to St. Meinrad Community Park.
This year’s celebration — the 24th in companion with the Antique Tractor Club — promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with new additions along with old favorites including a Tractor Parade down 2nd Street starting at 1:30 p.m. (2:30 for those in Eastern time).
Every year different tractors are featured and this year the favored models are Fordson, Ford and New Holland.
Everyone is invited to bring their tractor or farm equipment to display. Antique tractor judging commences at 2 p.m. Central, with plaques awarded in various categories. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. CDT that morning, so come early and enjoy all the other festivities. Actually, those who might want to get their equipment on site early are welcome to bring their treasures on Friday or Saturday, September 29 or 30, prior to the big event.
Those who don’t own a tractor or farm implement are welcome to check out the antique equipment, enjoy BBQ, grilled chicken or pork chop dinners, purchase a cash raffle ticket ($5 apiece) with a top prize of $1,000, and partake in all sorts of activities — or just relax to the dulcet tunes provided by the Sweet Water Band performing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (and yes that’s 12-3 p.m. EDT).
Read the rest of the story in this week’s issue of the Ferdinand News!