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U.P. Steam & Gas Engine Show will take place online this year

This is the first time in 45 years the show will not go on at the Fairgrounds.
UP Steam and Gas Engine Show
UP Steam and Gas Engine Show(WLUC-TV6)
Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 11:24 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) -

Another U.P. summer tradition is canceled for safety reasons. The 45th Annual U.P. Steam & Gas Engine Show at the U.P. State Fairgrounds in Escanaba has been canceled in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The four-day exhibit which usually occurs throughout the Labor Day weekend features gas-powered automobiles from the early 1900s and steam-powered tractors from before the turn of the 20th century, according to Bob Willis, Vice President of the U.P. Steam & Gas Engine Association.

“When I was a boy, you would drive through the farming country in Nebraska where I lived. You could hear the old engines pumping water. They go putt, putt, putt. And when people come to the show they can also see these old gas engines. I believe the oldest gas one we’ve got is from about 1896. They’re very interesting to watch,” Willis announced. 

Willis says this is the first time in 45 years the show will not go on at the Fairgrounds.

But you can still tour all the same relics you would have seen at the Fairgrounds by going online.

“It’ll be like you were going around to see the tractors, the machinery and everything, watch the equipment and the antique cars just like you were there,” Willis exclaimed.

The virtual exhibit will be available at from September 4 through September 7 this year. You are also encouraged to submit digital pictures and videos of your own tractors and antiques to be included in the exhibit. Click the link below for additional information

Take your children and grandchildren and teach them about how things used to get done without today’s technology. 

“We have threshing. We thresh oats every year. We’ll have videos of that. We’ll have baling of the straw. You get to see Skip Dufour driving a Parrot Tractor around. There’s only about a dozen left and we have two in this area,” Willis boasted. 

You might also check out the Agricultural Museum if you get a chance.

“Thursday afternoons our Agricultural Museum is open to the public from 1 to 4. And some of the shops are open in the Antique Village on the fairgrounds in Escanaba. We’ve had the buildings open, but we’ve had hardly anyone come. But in the museum, there’s something for everyone, from old kitchen appliances to a big steam engine and a 100-year-old jail. It’s the favorite display of school children coming through,” Willis added.

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