Elk River Engine Days

By Staff
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Clarence Jackson's popcorn wagon.
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Bartheld Collections: Mary, Jane, Jeff and Bob, the show hosts.

14018 NE 85th Street Elk River, Minnesota 55330

Elk River Engine Days one of the hottest shows in the country
was held July 9-10, 1983. When we say that we have a real hot show,
we not only mean action, but we also had the hottest weather of the

As you remember, we have the show on the nursing home grounds
(see story in GEM November-December 1983) and
about the time that story came out, I approached the board of
directors about having a two-day show. After some thought, I was
given the green light to go. So I began contacting clubs and
individuals to come and display in July. And, after many meetings
throughout the winter and spring, we found the weekend upon us.
Planning committee included myself, Jeff Bartheld, Mike Kroger, Ed
Dressig, Tim O’Brian, Bonnie Johnson, Shirly Zwack and Dee

There was a terrible storm weeks prior to the show, but the Lord
was looking out for us as we never even lost a limb on the new show
grounds woods that we had so eagerly cleaned that spring.

On Friday about one, our exhibitors started setting up. By
supper time we had about 15 campers moved in and we all had a good
time talking and swatting mosquitoes. Saturday saw equipment coming
in by the truck load.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Jackson from Eau Claire, Wisconsin popped
popcorn in their Cretor’s popcorn wagon. My old buddy John
Goldsmith and his wife were there with a real nice display of gas
engines. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Holler from Richfield came with a load of
engines and antique toys. Some other engine people included: Alex
and Greg Novak, Dennis Waslosky family, Bob Street, Mr. and Mrs. Ed
Middle stat, Ken Dauson, Gordy Nelson, Don Britt, Berk Rodgers, Mr.
and Mrs. Rub Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. George Wilson, Sr. and Jr., Mr.
and Mrs. John Helmer, Mr. and Mrs. John Barklow.

A car club from South Dakota drove six antique cars to the show
and the Anoka Engine Club had a few members in attendance also. All
deserve a big pat on the back and a special THANK YOU.

In all, we had over 90 exhibitors showing engines and tractors.
The Seat Collectors Association was represented by Mr. and Mrs.
Wilmar Tiede from LeCenter, Minnesota.

On Saturday night we had a big ‘pot luck supper’ and
awards ceremony plus some real nice slide shows and movies. I
especially found the slides of Bob and Ginny Hill to be interesting
as Bob is from England and he had an interesting look at the engine
shows there.

Sunday morning the nursing home put on a big exhibitors’
breakfast of apple pancakes, sausage and juices, rolls and coffee.
It was almost more than a person could eat and it tasted wonderful!
Sunday, of course, more equipment came in.

We had a parade both days. The KS 95 FM radio station had their
hot air balloon, truck and crew there, and everyone enjoyed

Saturday we had the first ladies’ fry pan throwing contest
and was that interesting! Sunday we had a prize drawing and about
4:00 we started packing up and said our goodbyes until next year.
But we all took home the memories of the show the thing I cherish
most. It’s great to see the looks and hear the comments of the
residents of the nursing home and the Elderly Hi-Rise as these
people came out in wheel chairs, walkers or whatever to see the
equipment run and talk about the ‘good old days’ when they
‘ran a tractor or engine just like that one there!’ It
really makes you feel good to see them enjoy themselves!

We had a record attendance as the people of Elk River and
surrounding communities really support the event.

Show dates for 1984 are July 7 and 8.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines