by Alexandra Muto
If you seek a weekend activity combining educational merit and whimsical fun, look no further than the Sanborn Area Historical Society's upcoming annual Farm Festival.
The festival takes place from 8 a.m. until dusk Saturday, July 30, and from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday, July 31, at the Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Museum, 2660 Saunders Settlement Road. The festival serves as an exhibition for local farm history, but will also offer more eclectic activities and traditional festival fare.
According to the Sanborn Historical Society's treasurer, programs chairman and co-chairman for the Farm Festival, Glenn Wienke, visitors can expect a memorable return of the Farm Festival's classic entertainment.
The time-honored tractor show and parade will once again allow tractor aficionados to present their prized tractors, many of which are antique. The tractor parade will provide an exhibit of all the fair's tractors at 2 p.m. July 30. Wienke emphasized that this year's group of tractors promises to be one of the most diverse to date. Some healthy competition will be introduced to the demonstration as judges nominate and present favorite tractors with awards such as "Best in Show." In addition to the parade, the tractors will remain on display for the duration of the festival.
Other tractor-themed entertainment will include such events as a kid's tractor pull, in which children can compete in a miniature event modeled on the popular motorsport competition.
In addition to a compelling presentation of tractor history, other historical opportunities will be available to the public.
According to Wienke, the Farm Museum and the on-site farm barn, which house a variety of local historical artifacts will be open and "fully stocked" throughout the festival. Visitors are welcome to tour the building.
The festival's rich historical tradition will complement modern festival activities. Entertainment will include a performance by local Elvis impersonator Terry Buchwald from 2 to 4 p.m. July 31 (moved from Saturday evening last year), a flea market that any crafter or seller is "welcome" to partake in for $65 a day per stand, and children's activities such as a floating boat pool. Additionally, a fireworks show will take place at dusk on July 30. For those searching for more adrenaline-boosting events, a log-cutting expedition will include a man cutting logs using an enormous tractor saw and a thrashing show.
Busy festival participants will not be left hungry with the delicious array of food available. Fairgoers can begin the festivities with the July 30 pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Following a hearty breakfast, visitors may choose goodies from a wide array of popular local food vendors, including Mrs. Rib's. Additionally, the festival offers food-themed events such as "make-your-own-sundaes." For those who seek competition, the fair's pie-eating contest is at noon July 30 and the watermelon-eating contest is at noon July 31. The contests, which were introduced to the festival last year, promise to be as great a success as they were at their premiere.
According to festival committee co-chairman Bonnie Haskell, last year, the kids had a lot of fun with the contests.
In addition to the festival's traditional offerings, new events will debut this year. Wienke noted that the Historical Society Committee is in the process of expanding the fair's raffles to include a basket auction. The festival will now offer a car cruise, which should please automobile fans. Visitors should also note that some festival and Historical Society events' time slots have been altered. The ice cream social make-your-own-sundaes event will occur alongside the Sanborn Band performance at the festival this year. The event, which Haskell notes "many locals look forward to," will hopefully attract more visitors and offer a refreshing addition to the July heat.
The festival, which serves as a fundraiser for the Farm Museum, will also assist others this year. During the concert series at the event, a food pantry will be held. The Sanborn Area Historical Society asks visitors to donate any non-perishable food, which will be distributed to food banks and local charities following the event. Furthermore, a UNYTS Blood Drive will take place on July 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Sanborn Area Historical Society clearly aims to please with the diverse array of activities at the fair this year. The event creators feel confident that event turnout will continue to be strong into its eighth year. Wienke notes that currently and in the past, the Farm Festival has been a "kind of a really family-fun sharing time" that all attendees enjoy. Furthermore, Haskell noted that many patrons at the event "are regulars, usually groups keep coming every year," a testament to visitor satisfaction.
Wienke and the other curators had a great time organizing the festival, and he enthusiastically praised the historical society's efforts: "We enjoy doing it, and hopefully we will make a little money on the event. Maybe we won't, but either way, it will be a good time for all."
The festival is made possible by the efforts of sponsors, which include the Town of Lewiston, Frank's Market Place, Sanborn B&PA, the Grigg-Lewis Foundation, and Davis Insurance.
Admission and parking to the event are free.
Farm Festival schedule
Saturday, July 30
•8 to 11 a.m. - pancake breakfast
•10 a.m. - opening ceremony
•10 a.m. to 5 p.m. - kids/adult tractor pull
•Noon - pie-eating contest
•2 p.m. - tractor parade
•4 to 6 p.m. - Sugar & Jazz band
•7 to 9 p.m. - Colt 45 band (bring your own lawn chairs)
•Dusk - fireworks
Sunday, July 31
•11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - UNYTS blood drive
•Noon - watermelon-eating contest
•1 to 2 p.m. Sanborn Band concert and make-your-own-sundaes
•2 to 4 - Terry Buchwald as "Elvis" (bring your own lawn chairs)