This weekend marks the 27th year local families will get together to appreciate the olden days in rural York County.
With activities planned from saw-milling and wood-splitting to a kids' sandbox full of shelled corn, the Menges Mills Historic Horse, Steam and Gas Show will once again come to the York County 4-H Center on Saturday and Sunday.
The free show will celebrate old industry and the family unit, said Donna Sheaffer, secretary and treasurer of the Menges Mills Historic Horse, Steam and Gas Association.
Family first: As a woman among 11 male founding members, Sheaffer had a vision of a family-oriented show, she said.
"Oftentimes, tractor shows are geared toward men," she said. "From the very beginning, I said we need to be different and need to be a show that's also for women and children."
Some people go for educational purposes; for some people, the show brings back memories, she said. And a lot of what brings them there depends on not only their age, but where they grew up, she said.
"But the biggest thing from the very beginning was for young people to get an idea of what life was like for their grandparents, great-grandparents or even their parents," she said.
Free fun: This is the show's 13th year at the 4-H Center. It was previously held at Menges Mills and Elicker's Grove Park in Spring Grove, but it outgrew those venues, Sheaffer said.
"We just love it (at the 4-H center)," she said.
She said she's expecting thousands of visitors this weekend, although it's hard to gauge attendance without ticket sales.
The show is country to its core, with a kitchen that serves homemade staples, such as soups, sandwiches, pot pies and a breakfast buffet on Sunday morning, Sheaffer said. Outdoor vendors will have traditional festival fare, such as french fries funnel cakes and kettle corn.
On the practical side, the fair will have an air-conditioned banquet hall so guests can get out of the heat or rain, Sheaffer said.
And the best part of the whole deal? Admission and parking are free, giving families the opportunity to have a fun-filled day without reaching into their wallets, she said.
They can browse the flea market and antiques as well as scarf down the country-style food, she said.
"We want families to be able to afford to come," Sheaffer said.
If you go:
The 27th annual Menges Mills Historic Horse, Steam and Gas Show features tractors, live music, a flea market, antique engines and cars, horses and more.
The show runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the York County 4-H Center, 771 Stoverstown Road near Spring Grove. Admission and parking are free.
A full schedule of events is at www.mengesmillssteam.com.
--Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.