Steam power on display

By Eric Paddock, Correspondent

For three days on the second weekend in September, Somerset will take a step back in time.

It will be a time when the wheezing and chugging of steam engines, the staccato of old gasoline engines and old farm equipment — some more than 100 years old — fills the air.

Sept. 7- 9 will be punctuated by The Somerset Steam & Gas Pasture Party on the association grounds at the Roberts family farm in Orange County.

The non-profit show is a chance for those who have never experienced steam power, who think of their daily meals as simply comestibles that come from a supermarket, to discover how machines transformed American farming a century ago.

The show will feature antique tractors, steam and gas engines, a working sawmill, threshing, baling, steam plowing, a shingle mill, a duplicating lathe, and corn chopping, among other traditional mechanized farming activities.

In addition, there will be live country bands, flea markets, arts and crafts, antique and classic cars and trucks, tractor games, a kiddie tractor pull, food concessions and the show’s famous steamed beans.

Although there is a gate donation of $10 requested, proceeds, after show expenses are paid, are divided among local charitable organizations, volunteer fire companies, rescue squads, scholarships and charitable work within the surrounding communities. Exhibitors and children younger than 12 are admitted free, and there will be free parking and a free shuttle service from the parking lot to the show grounds.

The Pasture Party is a family event. No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the grounds. The use throughout the show grounds of ATV’s and other four-wheel conveyances is restricted to handicapped persons, senior citizens and show personnel.

There will be a version of a yard sale called “Bits ‘n’ Pieces.” You can bring your unwanted items, be they tools, tractor parts, stoves, flower pots, cookware or yard items, along with you, and while you are enjoying the Pasture Party the Bits ‘n’ Pieces crew will be making money for you.

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