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Two Top Ruritan Club hosts its 21st annual show

September 15, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The 21st annual Two Top Ruritan Club Show brings nearly 10,000 people to Mercersburg each year for the weekend-long event, which includes antique tractors, tractor pulls, flea market and craft vendors, homemade food and displays of farm equipment.

"It started as a very small fundraiser and it keeps growing," said Richard Martin, chairman of the show and president of the club. "We are a nonprofit organization that gives to the community."

Saturday's events included a pedal pull for children ages 4 to 10, a tractor parade, a tractor pull and live music at night. Throughout the day, there were threshing wheat, baling, sawmill and running gas engine displays.

"It's a little bit of something for everyone," Martin said.

More than 200 tractors were on display, along with between 150 and 175 craft and flea market vendors, Martin said.

One of the reasons that Walter Deane of Lovettsville, Va., has been coming to the show for the past four years is because of the tractors. It was only this year, though, that he decided to compete in the tractor pull.

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"It's somewhere to go to talk to other tractor pullers," said Deane, who has been competing in tractor-pulling contests for 10 years. "I pull all over Northern Virginia (and) Maryland."

Tractor pulling is a competition using tractors to pull a heavy weight along a track. The resistance of the weight increases until the tractor no longer can pull it.

"The bigger the (weight) class, the faster the weight comes up," Deane said. "Tractor pulling is almost as big as NASCAR. It's all over the U.S. and now Europe."

Saturday's tractor pull had weight classes from 4,000 to 13,500 pounds.

Frank Shatzer of Chambersburg, Pa., comes to the show each year to see the tractors.

"It's almost twice the size it was last year as far as machinery goes," said Shatzer, who particularly was interested in the Farmall, Oliver, Ford and Case tractors. "There are a lot more people because of the weather."

Sherrie Mackey of Chambersburg attended the show for the first time.

"We mostly came for the crafts," Mackey said. "Of course, my son likes the tractors."

Mackey's son, Gauge, 2, also enjoyed petting goats, chickens and ducks at the event's petting zoo for children.

"Of course, my son is chasing the ducks around," Mackey said.

Anna Moats and Jesse Shoemaker, Jr. of Indian Springs came to the Ruritan club's show to see the craft and flea market displays.

"I try to look for 2-inch people to go with my cabins," said Shoemaker, who makes miniature log cabins. "I make them and give them to friends and family."

While Shoemaker did not find what the was looking for, Moats did.

"I bought a powder dish," she said. "Every time I see one, I gotta have it."

Moats said she had been collecting antique powder dishes since she received one as a gift in sixth grade. Fifty years later, Moats has added a fourth dish to her collection.

"I can never find them in flea markets," Moats said about the rarity of the item.

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