The 25th Silver anniversary of the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta, Inc. held at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds in Fort Scott on October 2, 3 and 4, 1981, was acclaimed a great success.
Taking part in the activities were six large steam engines providing power for the sawmills and the threshing machines, or participating in the daily ‘Parade of Power’. In addition to the working machines, there were 14 model steam engines in action.
On Friday evening, the Agriculture Committee of the local Chamber of Commerce served a free ham, bean and cornbread supper to the workers and hundreds of spectators. Following the meal, the Case Equipment Company presented a free movie of early day machinery and their operations.
An impressive number of the steam engines, antique tractors and cars moved downtown early Saturday morning to join the Community Junior College in forming an approximately two-mile long parade.
Then at four o’clock Saturday afternoon came the Antique Tractor Pullthe event probably attracting the largest number of spectators. In spite of an ‘on-again, off again’ drizzly rain, the grandstands were full, as 78 tractors participated.
Sunday, the last day of the fiesta also had its highlights ranging from the 9:00 AM church service to the finale Parade of Power and the recognition honoring George Jackson, the organization’s founder. George has worked with steam engines since his early teen-age years and became interested in their restoration and exhibition in the 1950s. Getting together with others of similar interests, he was successful in organizing the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta and has been president of the group for these twenty-five years.