In response to the changing profile of visitors to Milton Steam-Era, this year's show is offering more entertainment all day every day to appeal to young families. The 'Second Stage' was added last year and proved very popular, drawing parents and grandparents with young children for games and contests like kids' tractor pulls. Fashion shows, musical performances, craft demonstrations and more appeal to all ages. The Second Stage augments the busy entertainment schedule that has drawn visitors from hundreds of miles away for the past 38 annual Steam-Era shows. Twice-daily parades of antique tractors chug their way past the grandstand and around the V4 mile track at the Milton Fairgrounds. Antique tractor pull contests roar on Saturday and Monday mornings of Labour Day weekend. Demonstrations of threshing, and a working sawmill and shingle mill, continue throughout the day. All the while, visitors young and old get to examine hundreds of working antique tractors, up to 90 years old; gas engines (used for everything from washing clothes and pumping water to grinding grain); and dozens of classic cars, too.
This year, Steam-Era is promoting itself with the slogan, 'The best of the past, preserved for the present for the pleasure of the future!' For many, the most entertaining and informative part of Steam-Era is the chance to talk with the collectors who have lovingly restored this historical equipment.
'Each tractor has its own unique history the type of work it's done, where it was made, where it was found and rescued,' explains Brad Clements, a director of the Ontario Steam and Antique Preservers Association which runs Steam-Era. 'Our members take pride in sharing that history with the thousands of Steam-Era visitors who share their interest. For kids and families, it's a great way to make our Canadian farm history come alive, and we see many grand parents reminiscing with family about the memories Steam-Era reawakens.'
'It's fun too, to see the new mix of visitors coming equally from city backgrounds as well as rural roots.'
All the activities and entertainment at Steam-Era, which is featuring John Deere equipment this year, are offered at one comprehensive low admission price of $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12. The Milton Fairgrounds open at 8:00 a.m. daily Saturday, Sunday and Labour Day Monday, September 4-6, 1999. (There are limited activities and reduced admission on Friday.) Saturday night winds up with a foot-stomping Country and Western Talent Contest. Sunday concludes with a Variety Musical Program. Both shows start at 7:00 p.m. Besides the entertainment, demonstrations, games and activities scheduled all day every day, visitors can enjoy the crafts show and sale, the bargain hunting at the trading post and flea market, and the selection of home-style cooking on the grounds, in the buildings and under tent.
Steam-Era '99 is the largest show of its kind in eastern Canada, and with its ever-changing program of events, this year promises to be one of the best.