Steam engines lead parade through downtown McConnellsburg, Pa. (Photo courtesy Fulton County News, McConnellsburg, Pa
Sec., Grease, Steam and Rust Association, Inc., P.O. Box 29 McConnellsburg, PA 17233
When was the last time you saw a steam engine drive up Main Street in your town?
This is the scene each October in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. The third weekend in October is time for the Fulton Fall Folk Festival, a countywide event of open houses, craft shows, flea markets, quilt shows, car shows, apple butter boils, art shows, and lots of good food. The 1990 show was held on October 20 and 21.,
A major event during the festival weekend is the Antique Tractor, Small Engine and Machinery Show at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in McConnellsburg, sponsored by Grease, Steam and Rust Association.
The kick-off event for both the festival and the Grease, Steam and Rust Association show is a parade through downtown McConnellsburg ending up at the fairgrounds.
The 1990 parade was led by several steam engines which were taking part in the tractor and machinery show. Dozens of tractors participated in the parade as well, which was enjoyed by several thousand spectators.
Following the parade, the tractor show got underway in full force with working demonstrations of grain threshing, lumber sawing, shingle making, corn shredding, etc.
Saturday afternoon was also time for tractor pulling. On the main track, antique tractors competed for trophies. This included any tractors made prior to 1942 from steel-wheelers on up. It was also time for smaller pullers to go to work in the large tent. This is where the kids (and the ladies) participated in the pedal tractor pull.
Saturday night was turned over to more modern machines when two and four-wheel drive pickups pulled. Not everything was modern, however, as the evening was highlighted by the steam engines showing their stuff. No matter how cold it might be, and it can be cold the third weekend in October, no one leaves until they have seen the steam engines pull.
Sunday morning opened with a non-denominational church service in the large tent. Attendance for this service has been growing each year. This was followed by a new event this year a horse pulling contest which drew a large crowd for a first-time event. Following the horse pull, it was the farm stock tractors' turn in the tractor pulling contest.
Many activities also went on throughout the fairgrounds both days.
The Fulton County Quilt Club holds a quilt show in the 4-H Building each year. This year was the tenth year for their show so, in addition to their usual large display of beautiful quilts, they had a special display of prior years' grand champion quilts, plus a quilt block contest as added attractions. The schools in the county also participated with items made by the students on display.
There were many displays of crafts, with several working craft demonstrations. One which drew special attention was a wool spinning demonstration which ended up with a finished shawl.
A flea market provided an opportunity for show visitors to shop, not to mention eat, with food of every kind from milk shakes to hot sausage sandwiches to baked potatoes.
This was also the tenth anniversary of the show for Grease, Steam and Rust Association. 1990 was the largest show to date, with 215 individual exhibitors registered, many of them exhibiting several items, especially those with small engines and other machinery items.