WAVERLY – Storms and the heat wave hit the bottom line but the Camp Creek Threshers and its show remain strong.
Camp Creek Threshers Secretary Pam Fleming said that profits will be hurt this year, but that the club has planned for such problems and contingencies are in place to keep the show running for years to come.
Attendance at this past weekend’s show east of Waverly was down in general, hurt by the heat on Saturday and the torrential rains on Sunday.
Early morning Saturday, the parking lot was filling with cars and trucks looking to beat the heat. The Waverly Kiwanis Club’s pancake feed started at 6 a.m. and was serving a steady stream of customers until they closed shop later that morning.
“We had a good run in the morning, but obviously it got a lot hotter, a lot more humid. It wasn’t a typical Saturday,” Fleming said.
As the sun started peaking, the crowd started to wither on what Fleming said is usually their busiest day of the two-day event. By midday, the heat index had reached over 100 degrees. The club had a number of ways to try and counteract the heat for those attending.
Water stations were prominent throughout the grounds. All-terrain vehicles with water bottles patrolled everywhere from the flea market to the exhibits. Notices were posted in the bathrooms, where people could find air conditioning and respite from the heat.
Despite the planning, the weather would prove to be a thorn in the group’s side throughout the weekend.
Going into Sunday, the hope was the rain would break the heat. It did that and more, turning the Camp Creek parking lot into a quagmire.
The temperature had come down precipitously, but the rain had replaced one problem for others on Sunday. The dirt road loop that runs throughout the showgrounds was too muddy to do the Parade of Power. The tractor pulls were canceled.
Before the show was scheduled to finish, exhibitors were heading for the exit with their tractors and engines in tow.
“It wasn’t a great year,” Fleming said. “We did have attendance in on Saturday. We had none, obviously on Sunday. But it’s not going to break the bank, by any means.”
Camp Creek has a reserve built up and Fleming said that it might set back funding for long term improvements or projects the club has in the works. But, that the coffers remain full and next year’s show is already in the works.
Despite this year’s bad luck, Fleming summed up the 2019 Camp Creek Antique Machinery and Threshing Show with optimism.
“It was probably not one of the best years, but we still had fun and we’ll be there next year – full force,” she said.