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Harvest Festival brings history alive for two day event

Harvest Festival brings history alive for two day event
Lynn Meyer and his horses load hay with a wooden sweep onto the stacker at the annual Harvest Festival at the Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering. RRN/KNEB/Guzman

History and heritage came alive Saturday, at the annual Harvest Festival at the Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering, and festivities will continue today (9/16)  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The featured crop is hay and livestock, with demonstrations of horse drawn sweeps and stackers.

“They don’t like to stand too much, but are getting better at it,” Volunteer Dave Burkey of Lyman said about his Belgium-Morgan cross horses Pete and Pat.

“We like to come here and today they pulled the stacker and will probably pull a people hauler later,” he said.

The museum has about seven or eight acres of hay to put up and in the past depending on the size of the crew it could take a day or half-a-day.

“It also depend on how many teams of horses you had,” said Dick Kuxhausen a museum volunteer. “You’d need a team or two on the stacker and a team on the sweep, they were pretty efficient and had it figured out.”

The volunteers had also spent a good deal of time on restoring an old Jayhawk stacker for the demonstration.

Richard Meier, Sr. and his son Richard Meier Jr. were volunteering in the fields, turning the hay with a McCormick Farmall model A tractor pulling a side delivery rake.

“My uncle bought it new in 1944,” said Meier Sr. “My son is a volunteer here and he overhauled it (tractor) and we donated it to the museum, it’s really special to us, as it was my uncles.”

Another machine out on the fields was a 1940 Kit Gorman wheat thresher, which Volunteer Bill Stall and other museum volunteers were getting set up for an afternoon demonstration.

Events will continue Sunday, Sept. 16, and activities include equipment displays, tractor parades, blacksmithing demonstrations, a pedal tractor course, and an opportunity to pick potatoes.

The Torrington Fiddlers will perform on Sunday and food vendors will be available on site.

Admission to the Harvest Festival is $5 per vehicle at the gate. The museum’s Main Exhibit Hall is free this year, courtesy of Horizon West, Inc. and Inland Truck Parts Company.

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