Clear Skies Greet Fall Folk Festival
While some area festivals focus on apples, pumpkins or even ice, this weekend’s Fulton Fall Folk Festival was certainly a culmination of fall’s glorious splendor, good food, handmade crafts and, of course, tractors.
Having officially kicked off Thursday night with a Fulton County Historical Society presentation by kidnapping survivor Peggy Ann Bradnick, the threeday annual event lasting through Sunday continued to draw a large crowd. From the pancakes at the Burnt Cabins Grist Mill to the apple butter lovingly prepared at the Green Hill Sewing Club, the crowd onhand was certainly pleased by the many offerings throughout the county.
Paul Schmidt of the Grease, Steam & Rust Association told the “News” that with clear, blue skies and seasonally warm weather greeting festival-goers attendance was definitely far better than that recorded in 2009 at the Fulton County Fairgrounds. Although attendance was slow on Friday, Saturday’s numbers were much higher, according to Schmidt, who noted the good overall attendance was equal to that of previous events.
Among the most notable events at the GSR show were the various pulls, including the horse pull, which drew in more teams than is typical, as well as the farm toy show. Eighty tractors were reported to have participated in Saturday afternoon’s antique and classic tractor pull. An additional 66 farm stock tractors pulled that evening, including three steam engines.
“I think everyone was well pleased with the show after last year’s weather washout,” Schmidt said.
Fortunately, GSR officials were able to avert disaster over the weekend when a straw stack ignited at the fairgrounds on Sunday. Threshing had already been completed and equipment had been stored away when the straw that had been earmarked for winter bedding for cattle went ablaze.
“We have no idea what may have caused the fire. I remember from being on the farm out West, you didn’t smoke or do anything around the straw piles, hay stacks or barn haylofts that could potentially start a fire,” said Schmidt. “For many years after replacing the horses with a tractor when doing the chores, my grandpa would never allow that tractor into the barn for fear the exhaust would start a fire ... .”
In addition to good overall attendance at the fairgrounds and 361 units on display, Saturday’s parade route along Lincoln Way included a variety of political floats, marching units and farming equipment. A total of 37 special feature Case tractors were showcased in the parade, which included a total of 240 tractors ranging from steam engines to garden tractors.
From his position directing parade participants up Lincoln Way, Schmidt noted many of the tractor operators commented to him on the large number of people lining the streets.
With the festival barely behind them, GSR officials are already working in conjunction with representatives of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Promotion to make next year’s 38th annual Fulton Fall Folk Festival even better. Allis- Chalmers has been selected as the GSR feature tractor, and suggestions are being discussed to improve the parade lineup as well as the event schedule at the fairgrounds.