The agricultural heritage of the St. Croix River region will be celebrated this weekend at the 56th annual Almelund Threshing Show, held north of Taylor’s Falls, MN.
The show’s biggest draw is probably the many antique tractors on display, but it also includes traditional craft demonstrations like blacksmithing, hay baling and, of course, grain threshing. There will be tractor pulls, a big flea market, and lots of food (plan on eating some corn). There are events scheduled all weekend long.
The Threshing Show’s website includes some of its history and the history of harvesting, winnowing and threshing grain:
On the second weekend of every August the field near Palmdale is transformed with tractors, steam engines, people and music as the Almelund Threshing Show comes to life. Palmdale is located about seven miles northwest of Taylors Falls on highway 95. This year it will be held August 8,9, and 10
The Almelund Thrashing Show started in 1955 and has continued each year except one. According to a story related in 1966 by Almelund resident Everett Nelson, it all began with an ad he had seen in the local paper. A farmer from Amery, Wisconsin had placed the ad inviting people to come to his farm to see him thresh his stacked grain with steam power. “It was a nice Sunday afternoon” said Everett, “so I drove over the river, parked the car, and went to watch.”
The following Monday, Everett went to the local tavern, owned by Art Abrahamson. He told about the events at the Amery farm. “We all got to talking about the possibility of doing something like that as a fund-raiser for the volunteer Almelund Fire Department. Art Carl Almquist spoke up, “Why don’t you come to my farm and thresh grain?” And the idea was born.
The event actually kicked off last weekend, with the traditional tractor parade through 31-miles of countryside on both banks of the St. Croix River — the caravan started in Osceola, WI and traveled to the show grounds in Almelund.
The proprietors of Pleasant Valley Orchard got some great photos of the tractors passing by their farm.