Western Minnesota Steam Threshers reunion
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 15:09
Located 45 minutes away from our great university is one of the biggest tractor shows in the world. The Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion is held annually in Rollag, Minnesota on Labor Day weekend. The reunion is huge. At this past show, there were estimates that 65,000 people would be attending the four-day long show. People from Australia, parts of Europe and from all parts of the U.S. flew into the F-M area to attend this event
The show features hundreds of reenactments of everyday life from years gone by. Featured every year are four sawmills running off steam engines. These sawmills cut around 2,000 board feet a year during the show, with all wood going to a wood pallet company in the local area.
Other exciting events to watch are spark shows at the end of every night. These shows feature steam engines attempting to get their sparks to fly the highest out of all the other engines on the grounds. It is a crowd favorite and everyone always enjoys it. It should be noted that, on some nights during the show, the event is not performed because it is too windy. Being from the F-M area, we can relate.
The nightlife in this small village of volunteers and guests is always bustling with activity. Every night in a small sawmill and in a blacksmith shop, musicians of all ages gather together to play music from the old days. Bluegrass and old country music may not be your thing, but when you are in the rustic environment, sometimes it is all you can do to keep yourself entertained.
This show is chock-full of entertainment that is well suited for all ages. If you haven’t driven a tractor before, you can drive one in a fenced-in area where an experienced driver will be with you. If you have no idea what a steam engine is or how it works, ask anyone who is driving one and they will drop what they are doing to explain how the beastly machines work to the best of their ability.
One may wonder how this show has continued for 54 years. The answer is both easy and somewhat complex. Volunteers make the event tick. Every weekend, there is someone out there working on this or that, making sure that next year it works better. The complex part about how the show works is that, with all the volunteers, people get burnt out and want something new to do. Working to keep everyone happy is never easy, but this show is very successful at it.
Next year, instead of going home, consider going to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minnesota. You will have a very exciting experience and be able to see all sorts of old machinery and traditions. The experience is surely going to make you appreciate the modern conveniences that we have come to love. They are always looking for young volunteers, and participation is valued by all.