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Steam will power popular event set for next weekend in Wallenstein

Tractor pulls, roasted corn, and good times will abound at the 21st annual Waterloo County Steam Threshers Reunion on Aug. 21-22 at Amsey Metzger’s Wallenstein farm. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Tractor pulls, roasted corn, and good times will abound at the 21st annual Waterloo County Steam Threshers Reunion on Aug. 21-22 at Amsey Metzger’s Wallenstein farm.[Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Tractor pulls, roasted corn, and good times will abound at the 21st annual Waterloo County Steam Threshers Reunion on Aug. 21-22 at Amsey Metzger’s Wallenstein farm. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Amsey Metzger’s busy preparing for the 21st annual Waterloo County Steam Threshers reunion on his Wallenstein farm.

As president of the organization, Metzger has played host for the past seven years, welcoming 800 to 1,000 people to his property for a corn roast, tractor pull, live auction, and much more.

“It’s all about getting people together to let them know how things were years ago, what they used, how they worked and get people together to see that,” Metzger said. “Also to raise funds for giving back to the community where people are in need, to hospitals, or if there was a fire in the neighborhood.”

He adds it’s a good way to get the community together for a weekend of fun activities. They’ll have a gospel sing, a live auction with donations from local businesses, and the infamous corn roast on Friday night.

“Friday night is our biggest night. We’ve had crowds of 800 to 1,000 because of the corn roast which is steamed by the steamer, with the steam from the steam engine. And people just love it,” Metzger said.

Thursday morning will open with a tractor run at 8:30 a.m. Anyone with a tractor is eligible to participate and there will be a brunch at 10:30 a.m. Metzger notes they’ll also have an antique ditcher machine there for the weekend, and there will be a deadweight tractor pull, which they started doing two years ago.

If there’s enough interest, they’re going to do a bush tour to their neighbor’s farm on Friday and Saturday. They need a minimum of 10 people to do it and it will cost $5 per person.

They raised around $12,000 from the reunion last year.

Half of the money raised will go to The Partner Program, which supports children who may be from single-parent homes or just need someone to help guide them. Reapers of Hope in Moorefield will receive the other half. It takes vegetables that aren’t good enough to be sold in stores, cuts them up, dries them, and sends them overseas.

The reunion originally started in Heidelberg with the World Missionary Press. They decided to do a fundraiser and got the threshing machine together with an old steam engine. It just carried on from there, he says.

“Saturday morning is a kiddy tractor pull, which is a big feature,” Metzger said. “We do have ladies activities both days. There’s a lady here doing milk bags and putting them into mats, which was a big hit last year so they’re coming back this year to do it again, also ladies quilting all day Friday and Saturday. They’ll have a quilt set up and the quilt that they’re quilting this year will be for next year’s auction, which will be John Deere, which is my favourite.”

The featured tractor this year is J.I. Case. They don’t make J.I. Case tractors anymore, but there are a lot of old J.I. Case tractors still being used, so they’re bringing in any old J.I. Case tractors, machinery, and memorabilia they can. Every year they feature a different tractor.

The Historical Automobile Society of Canada will be stopping at the show as part of the road tour on Friday. There will be between 80 and 100 antiques cars on display from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

He says while the event is about showing how they used to do threshing with old steam engines, raising funds for the community is what is the most important to him.

“The biggest thing I get out of it is if we have money left to put back into the community. That gives me a lot of joy just to see that we have money left to give back to the community,” Metzger said.

It costs $7 per person or $20 per family for one day. The reunion officially begins August 21 with displays and events running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will also run August 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit www.waterloocountysteamthreshers.com.

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