R.R. #2, Box 70, Freeman, South Dakota 57029
The 4th annual Pioneer Power Show got underway September 15 and 16, 1990 with the best early fall weather we could have ever hoped for. Community club members were all hurrying about, running extension cords and setting up booths. Exhibitors and flea market vendors arriving wondering where to register and set up their wares. The smell of coal smoke starts to drift across the park from the steam engines. Everyone is kind of wondering if all the hard work and days of preparation will pay off.
By 10:00 a.m., or so, visitors to the show were starting to arrive. Our 65 Case steam engine had steam up and was the first in the belt of the Avery threshing machine. The afternoon threshing run is handled nicely by Lee and Dick Burd's 1913 18 HP Avery under mounted (pictured below). Both engines performed just fine with not so much as a loose belt.
The parade was held each day with proud Owners displaying their fruits of hard labor. It must be noted that most all the entries were of good quality restoration. Parades are the opportunity for visitors to show their appreciation to the owners. Probably the only pay they will get.
The stationary engine display is hopping both days, with engines sawing, grinding feed, washing clothes, and generating electricity. It always amazes me that a $10,000 side shaft engine cannot compete with the crowd when there's a 1HP engine, with bad paint, that won't start nearby.
Kids don't suffer at our show except to wait for a turn to ride. Homemade rides are always offered free. Cap Javers of Lennox, South Dakota is always a big hit with his merry-go-round built from a horse power.
As all shows are a bit different, the Menno Pioneer Power Show offers an old fashioned Saturday carnival atmosphere with bandstand music, dunk tank, bingo, horseshoes, contests and food concessions.
Moving the show to September, we added a Toy Show and Sale both days at the city auditorium and opened the main street stores for Old Fashioned Saturday Night.
There is no admission to the show at the park and only a small admission at the toy show. Funds are mainly raised through raffle tickets, a pancake breakfast and dinner and freewill donations. This has worked very well for us. Most people realize it takes quite a bit of money to do a show.
Plans are underway now to make the 1991 show bigger and better, more things will be added in most all areas. See you there!!!!