Faron Wahl, Manager.
It seems stuff just doesn’t last like it used to. Whether it’s a tote bag, a tacklebox, or a toaster, you won’t likely get the years of service out of your purchase that you might have expected from a similar item 40 years ago.
Events tend to follow the same pattern. The biggest, newest idea for a show might grab everyone’s fancy during its inaugural run, and maybe even sell admission at impressive levels for several years. Perhaps we’re becoming fickle, but it seems people’s interest wanes all too quickly, and before long the new event fails, meaning the search is on for something fresh and different.
That said, any event listed as “56th annual” should grab one’s attention. A yearly gathering that’s stood the test of time for greater than 50 years clearly offers something folks want, with five-plus decades of staying power to prove it.
We’re about to kick off our 56th annual Steam Threshing Jamboree this Thursday, with big days to follow Friday through Sunday. I don’t know if the founders of our event knew it would continue into these reaches, even though they saw it grow so rapidly during the initial years that they eventually purchased land for it. I’m guessing they had high hopes for the long term, but they couldn’t have known for sure.
So here we are, still carrying out this Jamboree celebration on the site we know as Prairie Village. We’re not resting on our laurels here; we fully respect that our continued health is not a given but rather the product of hard work, forward thinking, and an ear to the public. But we do want to celebrate the longevity we humbly enjoy with all who attend.
It could be the broad variety of offerings that has kept this late-August affair going, as attendees discover no shortage of things to see and do here each day. Running the gamut from threshing in several forms to train rides, carousel action, a big flea market, equipment demonstrations, free entertainment, tractor pulls, and much more, everyone in the family is likely to have their interest piqued at some point.
Honestly, our parades provide a bigger drawing point than many people might credit to them. We offer three to four parades daily (Friday through Sunday), and Main Street is packed with people for each. They’re wildly popular and provide a relaxed, primal focus that’s tough to miss. And they certainly draw the people.
All in all, I believe the baseline success of this event lies in its pure, agricultural rooting and the fact that what it celebrates at its core is simply raw South Dakota. It’s about celebrating how things used to be here in a part of the country where we all remain tied to rural life, either directly or by drawing a pretty short line. We get how important that heritage is, and we love revisiting it.
Whatever your reasons, we hope you’ll join us as we roll out the 2018 version of the great Prairie Village tradition, this year featuring the Minneapolis Moline National Show. See the full lineup of activities on our web page at prairievillage.org/jamboree.
We’ll be waiting for ya!