2008-10-23 / Front Page

Fall Folk Festival Still Pleases

264 tractors, six steam engines roll along parade route
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Some of the 264 tractors taking part in Grease, Steam & Rust's annual Fall Folk Festivall parade Saturday make their way up Lincoln Way East. Parade-day weather was just about perfect and festival event organizers report good crowds. Some of the 264 tractors taking part in Grease, Steam & Rust's annual Fall Folk Festivall parade Saturday make their way up Lincoln Way East. Parade-day weather was just about perfect and festival event organizers report good crowds. The Fulton Fall Folk Festival may have come to a conclusion Sunday, but the roaring success of the annual three-day festival filled with good food, fellowship and, of course, tractors is still lingering for event organizers and vendors.

With a total of 32 Massey Harris/ Massey Ferguson feature tractors dotting the parade route Saturday morning in McConnellsburg Borough, Paul Schmidt of the Fulton County Grease, Steam and Rust Association Inc. reported even minor changes in the route didn't deter individuals and organizations from registering for the parade that spanned about 1 1/2 hours. In addition to the Massey Harris/Massey Ferguson special feature, the parade also included six steam engines and a total of 264 tractors.

"The parade route changes went real well. There where no problems as an ambulance and several private cars were able to get to the Medical Center with no issues, and the new staging area worked well," said Schmidt. "The parade was a little tight with just a single lane until the Second Street intersection when the route went back to normal. We would like to thank everyone for their cooperation as the parade went very smooth, and traffic flowed well both before and during the parade."

Dale Blankley of Warfordsburg and his grandson ride a John Deere 5020 in Saturday's big parade. Dale Blankley of Warfordsburg and his grandson ride a John Deere 5020 in Saturday's big parade. The parade itself was judged by Sheriff Keith Stains, District Attorney Travis Kendall and Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne. Parade winners included Southern Fulton band in first place and McConnellsburg and Forbes Road finishing in second and third place, respectively. Shooting Stars had an impressive showing, clinching first place in the marching unit section, and Mc- Connellsburg SADD and Mc- Connellsburg Alumni Association took second and third place.

The category of floats was awarded to Warfordsburg FFA (1st), Calvary Independent Baptist Church (2nd) and Forbes Road FFA (3rd), while Kevin Lesher was handed a first-place finish in the antique car division. Sheila Fraker and Dick Miller garnered respective secondand third-place wins.

Meanwhile, at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, which marked the final destination of the parade route, attendance was reportedly down slightly overall with Saturday boasting the largest number of visitors. Estimates show the three-day festival drew in a crowd of 6,500. Schmidt stated the change in attendance numbers has also been indicative in other shows and events conducted at the fairgrounds over the summer months.

The Massey Harris collectors, who were organized by chair people Terry and Sandy Kessel, put on an "excellent display" around and in the feature tent with multiple tractors and items on display and for sale. A social gathering was also held both Friday and Saturday evening at the feature tent with food and refreshments available.

"We thank the Kessels for their efforts. We had a total of 531 registered items, tractors, equipment, gas and steam engines," Schmidt stated.

The 4X4 truck pull Friday night was also a hit with pickups, triaxle trucks and semitractors pulling. In fact, the pull that ended at 2:20 a.m. the following morning also set a pull record with a total of 157 hooks or pull attempts recorded. "The Saturday pulls were also well attended with a large group of farm stock tractors and steam engines. We had four engines that pulled and put on great spark shows for the evening pull that lasted until 11 p.m," Schmidt added.

"We even had great weather, a little dry and dusty, but much better than the past two years when we were rained out on Friday, " he concluded.

In initiating preparations for the 2009 Fulton Fall Folk Festival, the Grease, Steam and Rust Association has selected the Minneapolis-Moline brand of tractors and equipment as their feature. Furthermore, the Prairie Gold Rush Convention is slated to return to the fairgrounds as well with exhibitors hailing from all over the United States and Canada.

Friday's Youth Day held in Mc- Connell Park drew in a large crowd of little ones and their parents, event organizers and vendors reported. Pumpkin painting, face painting, birdfeeders made from recyclables, magic shows and the lollipop tree were offered, while Saturday's festivities in Waterfall included lots of handmade food ranging from hot sausages and chicken corn soup to apple dumplings. In addition to kettle corn demonstrations and craft vendors, event organizers also offered visitors a chance to witness or participate in a candy scramble, the Second Time Around fashion show and a pet show.

The Dale Gordon Memorial 5K Run/Walk held Saturday in Needmore boasted more than 100 participants with about half of the participants being runners. The event raised over $9,000, which will go toward the operation of the Fulton County Community Christian School, "a small multidenominational parochial school."

One hundred and twenty eight entries in various mediums, including watercolors, pastels, photographs and oils, were judged in the community room of the former Fulton County Medical Center as part of the Fulton County Art Club exhibit. Cindy Smith of Waynesboro was awarded "Best Of Show" with her watercolor entitled "Narcissus."

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