All The Bells And Whistles

Sep 15, 2018 - 7:00 am

Susquehanna Old-Fashioned Field Days Set For Sept. 15 and 16

Each year the dedicated residents who organize Susquehanna Old-Fashioned Field Days decide on a different agricultural process or antiquity to feature at the two-day event, and this year's theme was chosen at the suggestion of numerous individuals. Bells, whistles, and poultry items - new and old, of all shapes and sizes - will be on display for folks to view and learn a bit of history.

Organizer Darl Williams has amassed quite a collection of bells and whistles, including several worn by horses pulling the famous Conestoga wagons. In those days, bells announced that a team of horses was coming and signaled to people and animals alike to get out of the way.

"Anyone can bring stuff that day to display, and there's already been a fair amount of people who said they're bringing these items," said organizer Ron Bernhard, adding that train whistles and steam whistles will also be among the selection. Poultry-related items can encompass anything from old feeders to signs, memorabilia, and more. "You'd be surprised what shows up," Bernhard commented.

The 21st annual Susquehanna Old-Fashioned Field Days event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16, at Conoy Park, 2115 River Road, Bainbridge. Admission and parking will be free.

Antique tractors, hit-and-miss engines, model engines, and other items will round out the machinery exhibits. Revolutionary War and Civil War re-enactors will be set up on both days. A variety of live demonstrations will include rope making, apple cider pressing, shingle sawing, and blacksmithing. Craft vendors will also be on-site offering a variety of handmade goods for sale.

Organizers encourage families to take advantage of all that the festival has to offer for children. Barrel train rides, hayrides, shelled corn boxes, free pumpkins, a petting zoo, carnival-style games, and other activities will be available for children to enjoy on both days.

On Sept. 15, the event will kick off with breakfast available for purchase beginning at 7 a.m. Breakfast will be available on Sept. 16 at 7 a.m., as well. An opening ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. on Sept. 15, and the youths' and children's fishing derby will be held directly following the opening ceremony. Youths and children age 15 and under may participate, but they must bring their own bait and fishing rods. Prizes will be awarded.

Additional events on Sept. 16 will include the annual benefit auction, which will begin at 2 p.m. Auction lots are made up of a variety of donated items, including wood carvings, farm toys, baked goods, and other homemade goods. Individuals may donate items for the auction right up until the start of bidding. All proceeds will support the event and help to keep it free to the public. Bernhard emphasized that the event runs on donations and any extra proceeds go right back into the community.

A tractor parade will make its way through the event grounds at 11 a.m. on Sept. 15 and at noon on Sept. 16. Live musical entertainment will be provided on both days, including performances by bluegrass band Iron Ridge on Sept. 15.

A church service will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 16, led by pastors from the churches in Conoy Township.

The two-day festival began as a way to celebrate the heritage of the area, and it remains a community event to its core. Churches and civic organizations such as the Bainbridge Fire Company, Bainbridge Lions Club, and Elizabethtown Jaycees prepare and serve a variety of food and beverages for attendees to purchase. Local Boy Scouts assist with parking, trash, and crowd management.

For more information, readers may find "Susquehanna Old-Fashioned Field Days" on Facebook or call 717-572-6144.

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