REUNION REPORT

1990 Midwest Old Threshers


| March/April 1991



Full-sized saw mill

Jim Adams

Midwest Old Threshers , Route 1, Threshers Road, Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641 , Photos by Jim Adams

Less than desirable weather and increased gasoline prices combined to have a negative effect on the 1990 Old Threshers Reunion's attendance figures. Final tallies show that the 1990 Reunion fell 3.72% behind the average attendance totals of the last decade of Reunion figures and 7.1% behind the record-setting 1989 Old Threshers Reunion. With 56,494 memberships sold this year, the estimated attendance over the five day event was set at 127,112 people (a multiplier of 2.25 is used with the total membership sold to arrive at the estimated attendance).

The final figures for this year will be frustrating for the Board of Directors and staff. Frustrating in that changes in the weather and the global economy are totally beyond their control. The weather brought hot, humid days and scattered thunderstorms that dumped heavy amounts of rain. Rain that didn't necessarily fall in Mt. Pleasant, but did fall in the main drawing radius for the annual event. As a result, many potential visitors made the decision to stay at home. Likewise, the increased cost of gas at the pumps may have caused others to decide to save their money and not travel that weekend.

However, the people who did attend the 1990 Old Threshers Reunion saw no decrease in the entertainment and educational fun offered at the event. The weather did force the cancellation of the first and last Cavalcades of Power, but all of the country music shows and the invitational horse pull 'went on without a hitch.' In fact, both the country music shows and the horse pull nearly set attendance records. Some of the church and civic organizations operating food concessions realized slight decreases in gross sales, but most of the concessions increased on the sale of soft drinks and short orders to offset major declines. The Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Association remains dedicated to the exclusive utilization of church and civic organizations whenever and wherever possible. This policy attempts to ensure that net profits earned by these groups tend to stay in the communities of southeast Iowa.

All exhibit areas witnessed increased cooperation from their volunteers and exhibitors. The quality of exhibited machines also improved and all demonstrations drew large crowds. All area heads are to be commended for their efforts in organization and presentation.

The traction steam area saw a similar number of engines exhibited compared to last year. A late arrival was an old Minnesota Giant traction engine purchased by director Mike Parker, from Fairfield, Iowa. Parker acquired the engine at an auction and drove day and night to bring the engine back to the Old Threshers Reunion. Plans call for the engine to be restored by the 1991 Reunion.