HAVILAND — It's the end of the road for the annual SWKS Antique Engine and Thresher Show in Haviland.
Aug. 23 and 24 will be the last time the dwindling membership of the club joins together to put on a show of old-time farming methods showing how it used to be done.
"We've reached a point where we only have a few active members left, and we just don't have the help to keep putting on this show," said Dan Woods, longtime engine club member. "The other guys decided about a month ago that it was time to let this go and this year will be our 'farewell' event."
Woods said the first antique engine and threshing show put on in Haviland by the local group of farmers was in 1965.
"Back then, we had 40-plus members and they were all active and involved in this," Woods said. "Like everything else, I guess this has just run it's course. People have gotten away from this kind of stuff: threshing, rock crushing, saw milling, demonstrating old farming methods. It's a lot of hard work, and nowadays it seems everyone is just more interested in technology."
For one last time, however, Woods and company will gather in Haviland to drive their old tractors around the showgrounds, buzz saw boards, listen to the pop and hum of small engines, and enjoy some good old-fashioned food and fun.
Woods and his wife will be there, serving up heaping portions of ham and bean soup with corn muffins and plenty of homemade desserts, this time at noon Aug. 24.
"I'll be cooking up about 16 pounds of beans all night in the old cast iron kettle," Woods said. "We add about that many pounds of ham and then ladle it up on bowls. It's been a long-standing tradition around here."
Other traditions that will continue on Aug. 24 include a flea market of tools and antique equipment, and an old iron auction at 3 p.m.
"We never know who will donate what to sell, so that can get real interesting," Woods said. "Mostly it's antique collectibles, old carts, small implements, a little bit of everything."
There will be no parade in downtown Haviland this year, but the youths can take part in a pedal tractor pull contest sanctioned by the Kiowa County Farm Bureau. The pedal pull starts at 2 p.m. Aug. 24.
"I think a lot of these old-time threshing and antique tractor shows are going by the wayside all over the country," Woods said. "I'm going to miss it, not all the work, but just gathering together with friends and having fun with old engines. I'm going to miss that."
The public is invited to all displays and events at old Konkel farm, 502 E. Walnut, in Haviland. Concessions will be available on the showgrounds, and camper hookups are available for those who want to spend Friday night into Saturday. Admission is free to all events.