WAVERLY – Last year, triple digit heat and heavy rain put a damper on the 2019 Camp Creek Antique Machinery and Threshing Show. But a year later, a virus has shut the show down completely.
Over the weekend, organizers announced that the 2020 show was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After careful consideration and input from the membership, the board decided to cancel this year’s show,” said Camp Creek Vice President Joe Homan in an email sent on Sunday.
On the organization’s Facebook page, the announcement posted on Friday was much the same: “With a sad heart, we regret to inform you our 2020 show has been canceled. We look forward to seeing you at our 2021 show! Stay safe!”
Comments on the Facebook page indicate many were looking forward to the annual show, which would have been celebrating its 44th year on July 18 and 19.
The show has been a highly-anticipated summer event for the Camp Creek Antique Machinery and Threshing Association, known by the shortened “Camp Creek Threshers” to the general public. And the public is always just as eager for the show to start as the members.
Especially after last year’s show was spoiled by the weather. Attendance was affected by the heat and humidity, with the heat index climbing past 100 degrees by midday Saturday. Water stations and traveling Threshers made sure everyone was well hydrated. Those who were most affected by the heat could find some respite in showground’s air-conditioned spaces.
Organizers had hoped rain would break the heat, and it did, but the downpours Saturday night turned the parking lot into a mud pit and cancelled the Parade of Power and tractor pulls on Sunday.
The Camp Creek Antique Machinery and Threshing Show is a deep dive back into the days of life in early Nebraska and the Great Plains. Along with threshing demonstrations and tractor parades and pulls, there is a working sawmill, blacksmith shop and post office, corn shelling and hay baling demonstrations, multiple church services, and lots of food and fun.
New buildings or equipment are added to the showgrounds on a regular basis, and often debut during the Threshers show. Last year, the steam crane was the shining star, pulling and lifting again after sitting idle for many years. This year, they had hoped to show off the new water tower that was recently erected on the grounds.
The organization operates the threshing show and several other events at the 75-acre showground it owns east of Waverly on Bluff Road.
The show wasn’t the only annual event held at the showgrounds that succumbed to the pandemic. The May 16 Swap Meet was cancelled, as was the upcoming Community Fun Run on June 27, the July 17 Tractor Ride and the popular Camp Creek Railroaders Fall Show, which was scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13.