By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Harvest Fest to feature vintage equipment, mules

Muleskinner Wayne Beckwith will hook his mules to a device which, when turned by the animals, will power the crank of an antique ice cream maker -- a demonstration that should please everyone, history buff or not.

In addition to the mule-made ice cream, Harvest Fest will feature harvesting and baling, tractor parades and slow tractor races, sawmill and blacksmith demonstrations, a petting zoo and all sorts of displays related to the agricultural history of the Yamhill Valley area. Music, food and children’s activities also are planned.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16 and 17. Admission is $5 for teens and adults, free to children 12 and younger and Yamhill County Historical Society members.

The Heritage Center is located on Highway 18 at Durham Lane, just southwest of McMinnville.

Harvest Fest is an annual companion to the Heritage Center’s spring festival, Farm Fest. During the April festival, farmers plant an oat crop using mules, draft horses and vintage plows. The oats are harvested at the August event, again using vintage techniques and equipment.

In addition to the threshing, binding and baling, which continues all weekend, vintage equipment will be on display. Old tractors will parade through the grounds at 1 o’clock each day, followed at 2 p.m. by the slow tractor race.

Each day will begin with a Veterans of Foreign Wars flag-raising ceremony at 10 a.m.

Local authors will show off their books. Historical society volunteers will lead tours of the Hutchcroft School and the museum in general.  Other muleskinners will drive mules pulling a replica of an 1860s Abbot-Downing Concord stagecoach; rides are available.

Entertainment also will include:

n 10:15 to 11 a.m. Saturday, demonstrations by the Braids & Braves Square Dance Club, a group that will return in September to give weekly square dance lessons.

n 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, music by Baker Street, featuring Chris and Larry Cummings.

n 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, old-time country music.

n 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, music by The Yamhillbillies.

n 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, piano music by Kory Knutz.

About 150 volunteers plan and run the Harvest Fest each year. For more information, check the historical society webpage at

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