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Fiesta ready to roll

Friday, September 28, 2012

(Photo)
Roy Hanken takes a closer look at a 1962 Ford 801 Powermaster tractor during the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Coffee on Thursday morning inside the 4-H Building on the Bourbon County Fairgrounds. The tractor, restored by Pioneer Harvest Fiesta Inc. President Duane Ledford and owned by Ottis and Minnie Lou Allen, will be on display during the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta this weekend.(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce members got a sneak peek at some exhibits in the 56th annual Pioneer Harvest Fiesta and learned about some key people behind the organization of the event during the weekly chamber coffee Thursday morning in the 4-H Building at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds.

The three-day tractor and steam and gas engine show, which kicked off with a parade Thursday evening and continues through Sunday, is one of the oldest shows of its kind in Kansas. The event features a variety of early 20th century tractors, gas and steam engines and other agricultural equipment on display.

It also includes live demonstrations of antique farm equipment and other tools and implements from the early 1900s.

(Photo)
Allen Warren, past president and current member of Pioneer Harvest Fiesta Inc., which puts on the event, rides in Thursday evening's parade, which had 72 entries from throughout the county. Larry Martin was the emcee.(Ruth Campbell/Tribune)
Allen Warren, past president and current member of the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta Inc., the organization that coordinates the event, said a new addition this year is a shingle mill.

"We intend to have a shingle mill that takes cedar from the log and converts it into wooden shingles," he said. "We have a fellow from Republic, Mo., who called us about doing it ... We'll hook a steam engine to the mill to power it and we'll make wooden shingles and then give them out as souvenirs."

During the coffee, Warren introduced some of the important behind-the-scenes people involved in the fiesta. "Everything's coming together," he added.

(Photo)
Fort Scott High School students perform a song from their upcoming school play, "Little Shop of Horrors," for spectators at the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta parade Thursday.(Ruth Campbell/Tribune)
Dale Johnson, who is in charge of the vendor area, said there are about 40 vendors signed up and there will be a "wide array of stuff" available.

Other people involved with the event include Warren's wife, Jackie, who coordinates a quilt show each year; Peggy Niles, who is in charge of the arts and crafts show and said it is "filling up;" and Joyce Gobl, who handles tractor and engine registrations "as they come in," Warren said.

Garden tractor pulls scheduled for this evening and Saturday afternoon have been canceled after the recent death of Mapleton resident Justin Hueston in a motorcycle/auto accident Tuesday morning east of Fort Scott. Hueston's family is involved with the Bourbon County Garden Tractor Pulling Association.

(Photo)
The Fort Scott High School Pride of Tigerland Band marches down Main Street during Thursday evening's parade to kick off the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta. The band was one of 72 entries in the procession.(Ruth Campbell/Tribune)
Attendees of the coffee were able to view a 1962 Ford 801 Powermaster tractor restored by Pioneer Harvest Fiesta Inc. President Duane Ledford and owned by Ottis and Minnie Lou Allen, as well as a 1937 John Deere "B" model tractor restored by Ledford and owned by Jackie and Allen Warren.

The weekend celebration also includes a bean feed, food and live entertainment, a draft horse pull, a variety of tractor pulling contests, flea market vendors, arts and crafts booths, quilt shows and other events and exhibits. Various demonstrations include corn husking and shelling, wheat threshing, straw baling, rock crushing, a sawmill operation, sorghum cooking and blacksmithing.

A worship service is planned for 9 a.m. Sunday at the entertainment tent.

Anticipated attendance for the weekend is about 2,000 people, Warren said, including people and groups from out of town and state. Some groups travel to Fort Scott in recreational vehicles to camp at the fairgrounds during the fiesta.

Last year's gathering attracted a little more than 2,000 people, including about 30 vendors.

Proceeds go toward expenses for the next year's celebration. Warren said there are several costs associated with organizing the event, including advertising, renting a tent for the entertainment, insurance, trash service, electricity and water.

Admission to all weekend events is $5 per person, which includes a collector button and admission to a bean feed at 5 p.m. today. Children 12 years of age and younger will be admitted free, but will not receive a collector button.

Several local corporate sponsors have lent assistance and support to this year's event.

For more information, including a schedule of events, visit www.pioneerharvestfiesta.org.



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