The Ag Museum at the Fair has a number of attractions to interest the whole family. In its 23rd year, the Schuylkill County Agricultural Museum’s mission is to preserve the history of local agriculture through many diverse means. Since the Ag Museum is 23 years old that makes them legal, but not antique until they are at least 25. The museum offers self-guided tours, exhibits operating antique farm machinery, equipment, engines, woodworking tools, a sawmill and household appliances.
A chalk board at the welcome area lists the schedule of the day’s events. Sure to be listed is a small agricultural equipment operation demonstration with the hit and miss engines. Speaking of demonstrations there are the milling of wood in the saw mill area. Also outside the Ag Museum and listed on the chalk board is Todd Gladfelter using his chain saw to carve wood into intricate designs. Todd is a blacksmith artist, chainsaw carver, woodworker, cabinetmaker, man of the earth and his work can be seen on line at www.redmountainarts.com. You can see Todd in action daily at 5:30 on the midway.
Not to be missed and listed daily on the chalk board is the Bessemer engine. The engine itself is working piece of history. It is a 40 horsepower, 14,000 lb. oil field engine built in 1906 in Western PA. The engine was used to power a feed mill. Inclusive with the engines and tractors are the People Choice Awards where the public may vote on their favorite tractor.
At the Ag Museum track there will be two Truck Pulls. In its seventh year, and as promised last year that the Truck Pulls would be bigger and better for 2017 and they are. A new sled should make the competition more exciting. Local gas and diesel trucks are pulling on Monday, July 31st at 7PM. You don’t want to miss the trail of black smoke and grinding of gears for these diesel trucks. Tuesday, August 1st the big rigs come to town as the track will be taken over by Lucas Oil / East Coast National Pull featuring 466 Hot Farm Tractors, Limited Pro Stock, Semi’s and East Coast Diesel-Pro Stock Diesel FWD Trucks. New to the lineup this evening is the Modified Tractors in honor of Curt Luckenbill who many years back was the driving force behind the Fair’s pulls
Saturday, August 5th will be the time set aside for the Antique Tractors to pull. For details on the Pulls see the fair’s web site at www.schuylkillfair.com.
The Ag Museum operates the Tractor Parade daily around 4:30. See the tractors as they meander through the fairgrounds displaying the theme of the day. On Kid’s Day the Ag Museum operates the Pedal Tractor pull at 5:30PM. So kids, strengthen those leg muscles for the Pedal Tractor pull on Tuesday, August 1st. There will also be baking demonstrations done by Rebecca Manley using the wood fire open hearth baking oven on Tuesday as well. Stop by and learn how difficult it is to bake in an open hearth oven and sample some of the products.
Wednesday evening, August 2 should be a lot of fun on the Ag Museum tract as there will be a Celebrity Tractor Pulling Competition. Come cheer on local noted individuals “outstanding in their field” attempt to sit in the driver seat of the tractors and push the throttle forward. Who will end up being the winner is anyone’s guess; could be the person with the heaviest hand or is that a lead foot. The celebrity tractor pull has drawn a number of many eager participants applying their skills to win the coveted trophy and the bragging rights for the year as the champion celebrity pull champion. Also on Wednesday night the Fair will hold out bragging rights to the fastest dirt dragger. Don’t blink your eyes on Wednesday for longer than a second as you might miss the Side by Side Dirt Drag Racing. The local boys will be pressing the pedal to the metal for top bragging rights to be the fastest on the Fair’s track for 2017.
Thursday and Friday, August 3 and 4 the Ag Museum will be demonstrating their antique threshing machine and bailer on the midway at 5, 6 and 7PM.
On Saturday, August 5, Family Fun Day, the Ag Museum will be having their Antique Tractor Pull. Registration for this event begins at 11AM with the pulls starting at 1PM. Rebecca Manley will be demonstrating on this day the art of baking in an open hearth wood fired oven. The Ag Museum is an interactive experience for all to experience.
For more information about the Schuylkill County Fair visit the fair’s web site at www.schuylkillfair.com. Schuylkill County Fair is where the country scene make blue ribbon dreams come true.
(Information from Kim Morgan)