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Rain lessens pull of tractor show

October 05, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Cloudy skies, cool temperatures and mud everywhere didn't stop Kathy Clever and her family from spending Saturday afternoon checking out dozens of craft booths and nearly 200 tractors at Two Top Ruritan's annual fund-raiser.

The Mercersburg resident attended the Gas & Steam Engine Show with her uncle, Wayne Heckman, and aunt, Jenny Gordon.

Clever said, despite the rain, she wasn't going to miss the show.

"That's all right, we're going anyhow," Clever said she told her uncle, who lives in a nursing home in Dry Run, Pa. "It's not going to kill us."

The event also has a special meaning to Clever, because she used to attend the fund-raiser with her grandfather, who passed away, she said.

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"It's something I always try to do," Clever said.

Her aunt said she had another reason for attending.

"I just come to eat," Gordon said.

Gordon wasn't alone.

Other spectators trudged through the mud to purchase country ham sandwiches, chicken, steamers, pork tenderloin, cheese fries and numerous other items.

Show chairman Richard Martin said the event's food is a top draw.

"We're kind of known for our food. That's what attracts a lot of people," Martin said.

While parking and admission to the show is free, Martin said proceeds from food sales go to the Ruritan Club. The club then makes donations to needy groups, schools, families and other organizations.

Martin said he hopes this year's event will break even, since rain that fell early Saturday afternoon turned some spectators and vendors away.

"The place is normally about packed," Martin said. "The weather really hampered us."

By late afternoon, the clouds gave way to sun and more visitors began turning out.

While some were interested in the craft vendors, others strolled up and down row after row of tractors - steam-operated, gas-operated, new models and antiques.

A man at the event's registration booth yelled to Martin that 177 tractors were registered in the show by late Saturday afternoon.

The event also featured country and bluegrass music and a tractor pull in which drivers compete for money and a trophy.

Today's show will include breakfast at 7 a.m., a nondenominational worship service at 9 a.m., music by the Golden Family Singers, a parade of tractors at 1 p.m., a kiddie tractor pull at 2:30 p.m. and awards and drawing for prizes at 4 p.m.

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