The signs that fall is just around the corner. Leaves are beginning to change colors, fall is in the air, and the Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days are days away.
Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days is celebrating 70 years, September 8-11. Steam Engine Days is an opportunity to step back and experience farming as it was done in the early 1900s with the giant steam engines. Visitors can watch the historic steam engines in action from plowing, threshing, cutting logs, and rock crushing.
Steam Engine Days is rich in traditions. In 1954, the Hesper Improvement Club, a community organization, organized the first food stand for attendees at the second Steam Engine Days celebration. Now the Hesper Lutheran Church and Mabel First Lutheran Church, together, operate a food stand under the big tent on the festival grounds. The food stand is open from 7 a.m. through early evening and serves familiar dishes made by church members.
Steam Engine Days is one, if not the only, festival in that area that holds a parade on both Saturday and Sunday. Both parades have been held for years and are a highlight of the event. The celebration’s origins are not forgotten as the Parade of Tractors, with over 120 tractors, winds its way from Hesper to Mabel on Thursday evening to kick off the festivities. Steam Engine Days started in Hesper in 1953 and moved to Mabel in 1960. Two area residents, Greg Wennes and Sverre Dahl Jr. are the only two known attendees that can boast that they have attended all 70 years.
The Grand Marshals for the 70th anniversary of the Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days, Karl Urbaniak on be recognized on Saturday and the families of the three founders, Gerhard Clauson, Jesse McMillen, and James Sylling will be recognized on Sunday.
Tip: Enjoy a piece of fresh homemade pie at the church stand.
Upcoming Bluff County events
• September 10, Taste of the Trail – Peterson, Whalan, Lanesboro
• September 15-18, Applefest, La Crescent
• September 17, Taste of the Trail – Fountain, Harmony, Preston, Chatfield
• September 23-25, Fall Festival, Wykoff
• September 24, Taste of the Trail – Houston, Rushford, Rushford Village
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