Western Illinois Threshers Bee and Antique Show begins Friday

kid on tractor

This year's show will highlight Rumely oil pull tractors, similar to the one shown above. | Photo courtesy of Western Illinois Threshers

HAMILTON, Ill. — The 56th annual Western Illinois Threshers Bee and Antique Show will begin on Friday, Aug. 4, near Hamilton and continues with demonstrations and activities on Aug. 5-6.

Throughout each day, demonstrations and exhibits are planned: steam engines used to power threshing machines, large and small sawmills, large collection of rail handcars and rail motor car rides.

This year’s show highlights Rumely oil pull tractors. A parade of antique cars, trucks, tractors and steam engines brought by exhibitors will run through the grandstand at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

A full dinner is offered each evening at 6 p.m. for $10. The Friday night meal will consist of ribeye steak, potato salad and baked beans. Saturday’s meal will feature smoked pork chops, au gratin potatoes and green beans. Food vendors are planned around the grounds during the day.

Entertainment for Friday night is an antique tractor pull in the grandstand followed with music by Bocephus Wayne at approximately 8 p.m. On Stage Band will perform during and after the pork chop supper. A quilt auction will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday followed by more music.

The schedule for the weekend is as follows:


  • tractor games-9 a.m.
  • antique tractor pull-11 a.m.
  • kids’ pedal tractor pull-3 p.m.
  • antique tractor pull-6 p.m. in the grandstand


  • pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m.
  • pony pulling-8 a.m. at the grandstand
  • antique tractor pull-10 a.m.
  • tractor games-noon in the grandstand
  • horse plowing-1 p.m. in the field
  • antique tractor and car parade-3 p.m.


  • pancake breakfast-7 a.m.
  • worship in the country church-8:30 a.m.
  • antique tractor pull-9:30 a.m.
  • horse plowing-1 p.m. 
  • Sportsyex offers fun and games for kids at the grandstand-1:30 p.m.
  • antique tractor and car parade-3 p.m.

Bingo will be offered throughout the weekend in the large shelter house. A flea market will be set up on the north end of the grounds during the show. Visitors can see sheep shearing, rock crushing, corn shelling and corn meal grinding, pony-powered threshing, small gas engines, quilting and rug weaving throughout the weekend.

Activities for children include a petting zoo, hands-on corn shelling, playground at the school yard, the pedal pull on Friday afternoon and old time games at the grandstand on Sunday.

Winner of the antique tractor (a 1949 IHC-H.) quilt, pedal tractor and other prizes will be announced after Sunday’s parade. The 50th show history book, dedicated to Fred Buckert and outlining the origin and growth of the Western Illinois Threshers, is available at the show.

A $5 commemorative button allows admission for all three days to those 12 years and older. Children under 12 are admitted free. Buttons are now on sale at Harnetiaux Farm Store just east of Hamilton and are sold at the gate during the show.

Camping hook-ups of 20 and 30 amps are available. Golf carts/ATVs are not rented on the grounds but are allowed. Owners must register their vehicles and pay a $20 fee at the headquarters building upon arrival at the show.

To find the Western Illinois Threshers Show, turn north at the signs at N. 19th St. in Hamilton and continue on the blacktop two miles north. Parking is free.

For more information about this summer’s event, visit www.westernillinoisthreshers.org

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