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June 27, 2013

Thousands expected at truck, tractor races at fairgrounds

Mary Mattingly


Today's tractor is nothing like your grandpa's.

When asked what's the biggest difference between now and then regarding farm machinery, Chris Schmaltz replied, "The size!" President of F.A.R.M. (Farming and Antique Related Machinery) of Southeastern Indiana Club, Schmaltz says today's tractors are so much bigger and fancier. Today, he talks about operator ease and comfort, making the farmer's job a bit easier and tractors with hydraulic lifts not manual ones. "Some are nicer than your house!" he added. The big ones come with just as big price-tags. A new tractor with 200 horsepower will cost from $200,000 to $300,000. Years ago, a 20 or 50 horsepower tractor, which was a good size, would cost $4,000," noted Schmaltz, adding it's all relative--that was a lot of money back then too.

The antique machinery show is a history lesson and a memory for some. "It takes people back. They get a kick out of it. Visitors will say, 'I drove my grandpa's tractor and it looked just like that.' It brings back memories for the old-timers, the young and the young at heart.

Old tractors are just part of the attractions at the annual show at the fairgrounds in Osgood starting Thursday. There are also all types of antique machinery and steam engines. The club started in Dearborn County, but quickly spread to encompass those in several Southeastern IN counties. They have about 50 active members.

International Harvester will be featured, but several other tractor makes will be part of the 300-plus display. Over 5,000 people are expected to visit the fairgrounds this weekend. In addition, the club is hosting Indiana Chapter 7 of the National IH Collectors Club State Show.


The show has been offered for about 20 years, and held in various places, including Perfect North Slopes and the Dearborn County Fairgrounds, but relocated here six years ago. The club is proud to showcase the fairgrounds. "We've had many positive comments from all over the US. People rave about it in the letters and emails they send to us. They say we have nice buildings and that our walkways are excellent," Schmaltz said. The county has made many improvements over the years.

The grandstand holds about 800 people. Overall, they expect 5,000 people to attend at some point Thursday-Sunday.

Just about every square foot will be used at the fairgrounds, either for games and activities, the flea market, crafts, homemaker's demonstrations, food, vendors and displays.

The big draw will likely be the races. For the first time, they are offering a grandstand event on Thursday. KOI Racing will have truck/ATV drag races at 7 p.m. Schmaltz said they added it because of the response, and also because these racing type events have gone over well in Ripley County.

Returning to Osgood on Friday evening is go-kart racing. Saturday at 1 p.m. is the antique tractor pull, and at 7 p.m., truck and tractor pulling. Prize money, depending on number of entrants, could earn over $1,700.

Kids should be busy with activities, the displays, and more. There is a Kiddie Pedal pull for the kids who weigh less than 70 pounds on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. to honor Dabby Whitham, a founding member who loved working with the children.

There will also be demonstrations, from log sawing and wheat thrashing, to corn shredding and stationery baling. Vendors will display antiques, toys, machine parts, books and more. The homemakers will have quilts and baked goods, and the Amish will have homemade ice cream with cobbler, to name a few of the goodies for sale. The "Tradin' Post" is also a show favorite. Items can be consigned for a small commission and people check back frequently to find the bargains.

Schmaltz said the F.A.R.M. club is a non-profit organization dedicated to the collection, exhibition, restoration and preservation of farming and antique equipment to retain its historical value. For more information, please check the website at www.farmclubonline.com or like the FARM Club of Southeastern IN page on Face Book.

Antique Machinery Show highlights

Thursday: 7 p.m., Truck/ATV drags

Friday: 7 p.m. Go-kart racing

Saturday: 1 p.m. antique tractor pull; 7 p.m. truck and tractor pull

Parking: $2; Prices for grandstand events vary from $5 to $15. Pit passes available also.

Fourth of July happenings

Cindy Ward

With the July 4th celebration fast approaching, towns in Ripley County have been busy gearing up for their big fireworks displays. Parades, crafts, games, food and fun can all be found throughout the county in honor of this patriotic holiday.

Town of Milan:

Milan's festivities will kick off on Wednesday, July 3, with an ice cream social from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Milan Baptist Church. Featured will be homemade ice cream, sloppy joe dinners and homemade desserts. Pints and gallons will be available to buy and take home.

The 53rd annual Milan Lions Club Parade will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4. Registration for the parade will begin at 8 a.m. Pre-registration is also available on line at www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/milanin or email the Milan Lions Club at milanlions@gmail.com. Line-up will begin at Milan High School. Float entries are to meet behind the tennis courts. The announcer will be from WRBI 103.9 Radio. Whitewater Motor Company, Milan, is sponsoring the parade.

Before the parade, the public is invited to enjoy an all-you-can-eat free-will breakfast at 7 a.m. at the Milan Methodist Church. Featured will be a full breakfast menu, including sausage, biscuits, and gravy. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Milan Volunteer Fire Department will offer its famous chicken dinner. For those who prefer something different, Milan VFW Post 6234 will offer a steak dinner with all the fixin's from noon to 9 p.m.

The Milan Park will be filled with various booths, including crafters, games, bake sales and more. Inflatable bouncy houses will be set up for the kids. Wrist bands will be available for $10 each. Alcohol will not be permitted at the event.

The Milan fireworks display by Central Fireworks of Illinois will take place at dusk on Friday, July 5. The fireworks event is being sponsored by the Town of Milan.

On Saturday, July 6, the annual golf tournament will be held at Hoosier Links with prizes awarded for first through third place. Registration forms are available by calling 812-654-1873 or register the morning of at 8 a.m. The tournament will include lunch and there will be a split-the-pot and skins.

Town of Osgood:

The Ripley County Chamber will host its 13th annual fireworks event at the Ripley County Fairgrounds in Osgood at dusk. Featured will be food and ice cream booths, a flea market, crafters and antiques. Centerline will provide musical entertainment at 7 p.m. Attendees are reminded to bring lawn chairs.

The fireworks are being provided by a grant from the Gilmore and Golda Reynolds Foundation. For booth space or additional information, call the chamber office at 812-689-6654.

Versailles State Park:

The Versailles State Park's annual fireworks over the lake will take place at dusk on Saturday, July 6. Admission will be free to the park from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Those attending should bring lawn chairs or blankets. Coolers are welcome.

The camp store at the park will offer concessions, including hamburgers, hotdogs, snacks and drinks. They will also have various glow items available for purchase.

Town of Batesville:

The Hillcrest Country Club's Independence Day event will be on Saturday, June 29, beginning at 5 p.m. Attractions will include inflatable moonwalks, a pie-eating contest, hula hoop and limbo contest and more. The menu will include hamburgers, hotdogs, bbq, chicken breast, summer salads, potato salad, cookies, brownies, watermelon, roasted corn-on-the-cob, iced tea, lemonade and soda.

Church on the Rock, Township Line Rd., Batesville, will hold its annual pitch-in cookout at 6 p.m. that same evening to coincide with the Hillcrest holiday fireworks. The meal is free and the public is invited. For more information, call the church at 812-934-5192.

A little history - Independence Day is annually celebrated on July 4 and is often known as "the Fourth of July". It is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776 .

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
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