Steam, gas farm show at fairgrounds

The Northeast Indiana Steam and Gas Association will celebrate its 40th anniversary this weekend at the Antique Farm Power Steam and Gas Show.

The event spans three days – Thursday through Saturday – on the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1030 E. 75N, LaGrange. Friday night, country music band Full Measure will perform in the pavilion.

Ten to 15 big steam engines will be working throughout the festivities. More than 300 tractors will be on hand among a variety of antique exhibits. This year’s featured machines are by Ford, Fordson and Gaar-Scott.

The Ford Motor Company was established in Dearborn, Michigan, with its first experimental gas engines created in 1890, says C.H. Wendel’s “Encyclopedia of Antique Tractors.” The first Ford automobile was produced in 1896; the Model A was unveiled in 1903 followed by the Model T in 1908. Ford Tractor Company was organized in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1916, which kept Ford Motor Company from using the name, so it trademarked the brand Fordson, built by Henry Ford and Son, chartered July 27, 1917.

Gaar-Scott and Company manufactured steam engines and threshing machines from 1842-1911, based in Richmond, Indiana.

Guests can browse an arts and crafts area and toy show as well as an expansive flea market.

“The trading post fills two buildings plus overflows,” said Larry Palmer of Albion, a charter member of the Northeast Indiana Steam and Gas Association and event organizer. “A little bit of everything shows up at that.”

The association has hundreds of members from throughout the tri-state region, and even Canada, Palmer said.

“It’s steadily built up over the years,” he said. The Northeast Indiana Steam and Gas Association is one of the larger such organizations in the Midwest.

An annual treat is the spark show, a flashy nighttime display created with sawdust and the steam engines. There will also be steam-powered plowing demonstrations, if the weather cooperates.

Tractor pulling is Saturday at 9 a.m. The parade is at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“We go around the track and in front of the grandstand,” said Palmer.

Concessions and food trucks will be at the fairgrounds throughout the event.

Admission costs $5 with those 12 years old and under and exhibitors admitted free. Camping costs $10 per day.

For additional show information, call 585-0178.

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