Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 7, 2013

Power of the Past returns to the Tree City

By Amanda Browning Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – The Greensburg Power of the Past festival is set to return to the Tree City for its 24th running later this month.

The Greensburg Power of the Past Club was founded in 1989 as a non-profit organization aimed at promoting interest in antique tractors and farm equipment of days gone by. Through the years, Power of the Past has been able to educate its members and the general public of the historical, technical, and social contributions and impact of the farm equipment of the past. Through its work, the Power of the Past Club seeks to give back to the community, as well as preserving the heritage for future generations to enjoy.

The 24th annual Greensburg Power of the Past will take place August 15 through 18 at the Decatur County Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to will be $3 per day, with children 12 and under admitted for free. Annual memberships to the Power of the Past Club cost $10 and come with two weekend passes. Individual events have no fee, but a free-will donation is usually taken during the musical performances. Each day of the festival will be filled with numerous events, many of which would be fun for the whole family.

Those who have never attended the Greensburg Power of the Past can expect to find a multitude of antique restored tractors and farm equipment, including steam engines and antique motors. There will also be a large variety of food booths and flea market booths of all kinds. Participants can expect to see multiple demonstrations of the power these antique machines still hold, giving a peek into a time when these machines were the height of farm technology.

Power of the Past President Tom Cherry said no big changes were made this year, aside from the featured machinery, which he said changes every year. The featured tractor will be CO-OP, along with its close cousins, Cockshut and Blackhawk tractors. Other featured machinery will include the featured steam engine- Gaar-Scott, featured lawn and garden- Choremaster and featured hit and miss engine- Galloway.

There will be two areas of display for the antique machinery- the featured tractors, and the non-featured tractors, which tends to be a very popular display. According to Cherry, there should be between 125 and 150 of the featured antique tractors and around 400 of the non-featured tractors, which will include varieties of John Deere, Massey-Ferguson, and other manufacturers. Overall, visitors can expect to see around 500 antique and restored tractors and steam engines. To bring a tractor for display, one must be a member of the Power of the Past Club.

Several events will take place daily at Power of the Past. In the steam engine area, saw mill and threshing demonstrations will take place regularly, allowing visitors to understand the way these processes were completed before modern-day machinery was invented. Various entertainment will be available each day of Power of the Past, mainly old-time country, bluegrass, and gospel music. Grocery Bingo will be played every day, with prizes donated by local grocery stores. Arts and crafts booths will be open every day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., as will the flea markets. Farm machinery will be on display all four days for visitors to peruse at their leisure. Woodcarving will also be available near the event headquarters.

Thursday the 15th, in addition to the daily activities, Power of the Past will kick off the 2013 festival with an antique tractor pull at 6 p.m. Weigh-in for the tractor pull will take place at 4 p.m. An open acoustic jam will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Friday the 16th, all the daily activities will take place. At 1 p.m., interested participants can join the antique tractor cruise, where drivers cruise their tractors around the southern part of the county on a relaxing ride. The ride will take several hours. A garden tractor pull is scheduled for 5 p.m. Starting at 6 p.m., Flatrock Bluegrass Band, Jake Brown and Blueline, and James White and Deer Creek will take turns performing for those assembled.

Saturday the 17th will be an eventful day at the festival, with a number of things taking place in addition to the daily activities. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the annual toy show will take place. Antique toys and reproductions of old tractors will be arranged for viewing. Many of these toys have become extremely collectible. At 9 a.m., a horse drawn wagon train will leave the fairgrounds to travel a route similar to the antique tractor cruise and will take several hours to complete.

Tractor games for adults will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Obstacle fields will be set up and players must navigate the obstacles without hitting them. Among other things, players will also have to push a barrel with their tractor, earning points for keeping it on the right path. Registration for the antique stock tractor pull will begin at 9 a.m., with the tractor pull taking place at 10 a.m.

Starting at 1 p.m., a fiddle contest will take place. There will be five divisions: peewee (ages 1 through 10), junior (ages 11 through 18), adult (ages 19 through 59), senior (age 60 and up) and outlaw (any age). The contest will be open to everyone, with no entry or registration fees, though contestants must pay the $3 admission fee to enter the grounds. The peewee division will play two songs- a waltz and a tune of their choice. Junior, adult and senior divisions will play three songs- a breakdown, a waltz, and a tune of their choice. Medleys are not allowed and a rag is not considered a breakdown. For the outlaw division, one tune of the contestant’s choice will be played.

Cash prizes will be awarded for first ($250), second ($150), third ($100) and fourth ($50) places in the junior, adult and senior divisions. There will also be cash prizes given in a peewee division with $50 for first, $40 for second, $30 for third and $25 for fourth. There will be one outlaw prize of $100 given. Contestants must be registered by 12:45 p.m. before the contest. Contest coordinators are Olivia Smiley, who can be reached at 812-593-8087 for questions, and Gordon and Beth Smiley, who can be reached at 812-614-9052.

At 2 p.m., a parade of antique tractors will travel around the fairgrounds. Bleachers will be set up for those who wish to watch the parade and an announcer will describe each vehicle as it passes. A Catholic mass will take place at 3 p.m. for those interested in attending. Also at 3 p.m. will be the junior tractor games. Beginning at 5 p.m., a pony pull will be held. Kids’ games will start at 6 p.m., including a pedal tractor pull. The heavyweight horse pull is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. From 5 to 9 p.m., musical entertainment will be provided by Friends of Bluegrass, New Balance, Common Ground, and Kyle Ramey and Friends.

Sunday the 18th, the final day of the festival, the toy show will remain open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. A vesper service will take place at 8:30 a.m. and will feature the Barnstormin’ Bluegrass Band. The consignment auction of farm related articles and antiques will begin at 9 a.m. and is expected to last for four or five hours.

Participants may bring their own golf carts, but a charge of $5 will be required to be paid beforehand. Handicapped patrons may bring golf carts at no charge. There will be a limited number of golf carts that will be loaned to handicapped patrons for one hour at a time at no charge. Shuttles will be running on a set schedule to assist attendees who must park far away from the festival itself. Shuttle rides will be free of charge.

General questions about Power of the Past can be directed to club president Tom Cherry at 812-593-8977 or vice-president Clark Martin at 812-663-4723. Questions about the consignment auction should be directed to Larry Smith at 812-374-9488 and questions about the tractor pulls should be directed to John Hiltenbeitel at 812-525-5650. Additional information about Power of the Past, including lodging information, can be found at

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004