It was a full house again this year at the National John Deere Two Cylinder Working Show in Fairview, Okla.
"The number of exhibitors and flea market people was much bigger than it has been before," said Harry Martens, one of the show's organizers. "It was our biggest show in nine years, in terms of exhibitors, but attendance was also very good."
The key to the show's success? Brand aside ("It's completely John Deere," Harry said), the Oklahoma John Deere Two Cylinder Club has set clear priorities.
"We put on a good show, we treat our exhibitors right," he said "and we have big showgrounds where we can put on a lot of activities."
"That's part of the reason exhibitors like us," he added. "We have enough room that they can start up their tractors and drive them all over, no matter if it's on lugs or rubber tires. Very seldom at shows do you see tractors running, and you certainly don't see them working at many shows. They can do whatever they want here, any time of the day."
A working show means added interest for the exhibitor and the spectator.
"We have lots of field events," Harry said. "We have standing wheat in the field, so we can bind wheat and bale straw and plow the ground. All those events are possible because we have the show in early summer (July 16-18 this year)."
Visitors to the show were particularly enthusiastic about a plowing demonstration.
"One of the neatest things we have done is get old model, steel wheel Deere tractors, unpainted and unstyled, hook them together, and pull an eight-bottom plow," he said. "It's not been done, as far as we know, anywhere else. We had four guys on the eight-bottom plow, operating it. It made a really fun event."
The show is held on a site owned by the Major County Historical Society, and the club utilizes roughly half of the 160 acres there.
A fall threshing bee also features extensive demonstrations of vintage equipment.
Next year will mark the club's 10th anniversary show. Harry looks for another strong event.
"John Deere is not losing excitement, I can tell you that," he said. "People are still driving to watch the show and bring things." FC