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Lovers of all things agricultural have a treat in store for them this weekend, with the annual Kittitas Valley Early Iron Club Vintage Equipment Show and Threshing Bee coming up this Saturday and Sunday.

The event, held on the grounds of Anderson Hay & Grain was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but will be back in full force this year. Newcomers to the event can expect sawmill, grain grinding, and blacksmithing demonstrations, a water turbine and steam engine display, large and small turbine engines at work, as well as the ubiquitous threshing bee and tractor parade.

Each day of the event will kick off with a breakfast hosted by Rodeo City Kiwanis, as well as lunch by 4H. Other attractions include a craft/vintage market and Winegars Ice Cream and the Balloon Man for the kids. The event costs $1, which includes a raffle entry, with the grand prize being a $500 shopping spree at Super 1 Foods. Entry fees go towards putting on future shows.

Mike Cooper has been involved with the Early Iron Club for about a decade and has had a passion for vintage farm machinery for much longer than that. He said the passion has evolved into a family affair.

“My wife and daughters all have International Farmall tractors, and we’ll be taking one to the show this weekend,” he said.

The show has been held for almost four decades now and was at one point held at Olmstead Place State Park, but a combination of parking and location issues resulted in the change of venue a few years ago. Cooper said the current location is convenient especially for the seniors who participate in the annual event.

“It’s worked out very well for us,” he said. “Anderson has been more than gracious to provide a very well-maintained area for us to go. It’s got trees and lawn and plenty of parking, and we are very grateful for being able to use it.”

Cooper said the last show in 2019 had approximately 75 entries mainly from across the state, and he is optimistic that this year’s show will have a larger turnout due to the cancellation of last year’s event.

“I’m anticipating a bigger show this year,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm from the club, and they have received a lot of excitement from other clubs in the surrounding area.”

Cooper said his favorite part of the event is seeing the smiles on everybody’s faces when they see the vintage equipment still around and operating.

“Just to see the amount of passion people have for this antique machinery and equipment,” he said.

With agricultural roots running deep in the region, Cooper said the annual show is a way to show younger generations how things used to be done.

“For me personally, its growing up around a dryland wheat farming community and as a youth working for Ace International,” he said. “We now collect International tractors, and for me it comes from working around them as a kid. As you look around the world, there’s not a lot of these kinds of shows going on anymore, so I feel like keeping the history alive is very important.”

More information on the event can be found at Kittitas Valley Early Iron Club (kveic.org)

Reporting for the DR since March 2018. Lover of campfires, black labs and good vibes. Proud Humboldt State alum!

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