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The Black Hills Steam & Gas Threshing Bee is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  Set for August 17-19, 2018 on the Western Dakota Antique grounds east of Sturgis, the three day event offers a wide array of activities, demonstrations, and antiquing.
Courtesy Photo
The Black Hills Steam & Gas Threshing Bee is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Set for August 17-19, 2018 on the Western Dakota Antique grounds east of Sturgis, the three day event offers a wide array of activities, demonstrations, and antiquing.

Black Hills Steam, Gas Threshing Bee celebrating 50 years


F.Ganje - August 14, 2018

STURGIS, SD – Country lifestyles from long ago are on display during the annual Black Hills Steam and Gas Threshing Bee, celebrating its 50th year with parades, tractor pulls and flea markets.  Set for August 17-19, 2018 on the Western Dakota Antique Club grounds located on the Alkali Road east of Sturgis, SD, William Huston, a volunteer with the event for the past 23 years, says there is a lot more than antique equipment to the event.

“When you think of a threshing bee,  that’s what you think of,” says Huston.  “But there are tractor pulls,  sawmill and rock crushing demonstrations,  and a demonstration on binding wheat, a part of the threshing process.”  He continues,  “There is also a quilt show, kids events, a flea market and an antique blacksmith and school house to see.”

With the Black Hills Steam & Gas Threshing Bee itself marking 50 years, Huston observes that an event created to showcase the history of rural living has also become a place where history is catching up with itself.

“The biggest evolution of the show is what people go there to see,” he notes.   “My grandfathers didn’t have steel wheeled tractors.  So I go to see the tractors from the 1940’s.  But the progression of what would be considered modern equipment coming into the show is also something to see.   People might not think of equipment manufactured in the 1960’s as being a part of a threshing bee.  But those models are just as much a part of farming history as steel-wheeled and steam powered machines from the 1920’s or 30’s are.”

Daily activities include the flea market, blacksmithing, rock crushing, threshing demonstrations and kids events. There are parades on both days, a tractor rodeo, the kid’s tractor pull with pedal tractors and a birthday barbeque celebrating the event’s 50th year that are all part of the three day event.

This year, Huston says the club is also partnering with the Sturgis and Meade County Historical Society on a program that explores the history of agriculture in western Meade County.

“In addition to presenting the history of the threshing bee, there will also be a history of agriculture in western Meade County,” says Huston. “There will be speakers from second, third, fourth and fifth generations from farming and ranching operations on the Alkali Divide, Tilford and Bear Butte areas.” He adds, “This is a free event beginning at 4:30p.m. on Saturday.” 

For complete schedules and ticket information go on line to www.wdantiqueclub.com and see more on Facebook.



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