Every March, thousands of steam and gas collectors head south to
the small town of Zolfo Springs, Florida for the ‘opener’
of the engine show season. The show is primarily a gas engine show,
but this year, there were a large number of steam models which drew
Hobbyists Earle Nickerson and Tony Ullrich are given the credit
for beginning the Zolfo Springs show, which by 1967 attracted
several hundred people to Pioneer Park, the show location. As the
show grew, the First National Bank of Wauchula decided to sponsor
the event and Tommy Underwood, president of the bank and a
‘Florida Flywheeler’ suggested the name Pioneer Park
With the 1968 show, a flea market and antique auto show were
added, under the leadership of Elizabeth Underwood and Emerson
In 1980, a parade was added to the scheduled activities.
1984’s parade marshal was Leon Schrader.
Outdoor entertainment is provided throughout the show, and one
of this year’s special attractions was the appearance of the
famous Anheiser Clydesdales. No doubt there will be other new
features in years to come. The show, which was held March 1, 2, 3,
and 4, 1984, is always scheduled for the first week in March.