It’s safe to say that the process of ranking the best farm shows in the country would be a futile endeavor. Everyone has their favorites and it’s not likely you’ll find two people with the same list.
That said, it would be interesting to see which shows make it onto multiple lists. And I have a feeling that if more folks were aware of it, the annual Camp Creek Threshers show in Waverly, Neb., would be one of those.
The 2010 Camp Creek Antique Machinery and Threshing Show will take place July 17-18 in Waverly, Neb. Photo by Christian Williams
Wrapping up its 33rd year, the Camp Creek Antique Machinery and Threshing Show is simply one of the best all-around farm shows I’ve been to. Even my wife - who’s hardly ever excited about walking down dusty paths and watching me ogle gas engines – had a great time. And the reason is because there truly is something for everyone.
I know that phrase gets tossed around so much that it has likely lost its meaning for most of you. But in addition to a stellar display of rare gas engines and prairie tractors (more on those later), I was pleasantly surprised by how well the show was geared toward everyone ages 8-88.
There was a blacksmith shop, a working print shop where, for $1, you could have your name printed on a linotype slug, an elaborate model railroad set-up in the old Waverly train depot relocated to the show grounds, a replica service station surrounded by antique vehicles, a saddle and harness shop with horse demonstrations, a butter churning demonstration, a flour mill, flea market and antique drug store, as well as much, much more. And don’t forget the delicious homemade apple pie and ice cream!
I was also excited to see so many kids having fun, whether by turning the crank on the corn shellers, playing with the animals in the petting zoo, watching a gas engine power a water pump, or just simply marveling at the size and beauty of the steam engines and prairie tractors. I had a chance to speak with Camp Creek Threshers President Heidi Cheney, and she shares my opinion that getting kids interested in the hobby is vital to the future of the hobby. And it’s obvious that the Camp Creek Threshers recognize the unique opportunity they have to educate children about the history and preservation of antique farm equipment. You could tell that the kids weren’t just having fun, they were also learning how their ancestors got work done. I think the hobby is in great hands with folks like the Camp Creek Threshers around.
And for those who are just interested in the nuts and bolts of a farm show, there was plenty of rare old iron on display. The featured tractors were of the prairie variety – my personal favorite – and I counted at least 10 on display. Over in the gas engine area, I spotted several engines which I had yet to see in person including a 5 HP Stickney, 1-1/2 HP Flying Dutchmen, 12 HP Root & Vandervoort, 8 HP heavy-pattern Baker Monitor with enclosed crankcase and 10 HP Ohio sideshaft, just to name a few. Having talked to several club members, I’m going to venture a guess that next year’s lineups for tractors and gas engines will be just as impressive.
Located just 10 minutes from Lincoln, the show is also one of the most convenient I’ve attended, and would be an easy drive for most anyone in the upper Midwest. I’m already checking to see if my 2010 schedule allows for a return trip. And speaking of the 2010 show, it takes place July 17-18, preceded by a swap meet on May 22. Visit www.ccthreshers.com for more information.