Festival celebrates engines, bluegrass

WAVERLY – Several hundred lovers of engines, antiques and bluegrass music are expected to join together for the eighth annual Mid-Ohio Valley Antique Engine and Bluegrass Festival.

“This is the first time we decided to have the two festivals together,” said Waverly Lions Club president Barry Calebaugh. “It’s just a lot easier to get things ready and organized for one event than two.”

The two-day festival began Saturday morning with about 160 antique engines, tools, lanterns, tractors whistles and other items are on display in Waverly Lions Club Field, located off of Virginia Street in Waverly.

“We started the antique engine festival eight years ago to take the place of the horse pull we did for 45 years,” Calebaugh said. “We wanted to do something different and we seem to get a few hundred visitors each year.”

The variety of items on display include engines of all sizes from mower and tractor engines to smaller toy engines along with brass boat and train whistles and even antique kerosene torches and lanterns.

“There are a lot of different things to interest everyone,” Calebaugh said.

Alan Mellor, of Loudonville, Ohio, attended the festival Saturday afternoon after reading about it in a book of engine shows.

“I like going to antique engine shows and thought this sounded like an interesting one,” Mellor said. “I got on my motorcycle and rode down and it was a great ride.”

Mellor said he decided to make a weekend of it in the Mid-Ohio Valley after the nearly three-hour drive.

“I’ve got a tent and my gear, so I’ll camp out tonight and do more sightseeing tomorrow,” he said. “This festival is a nice start to the summer.”

Earl Hudkins Jr., of Walker, brought about 15 of the more than 30 antique engines in his collection to display for the weekend.

“Most of us here are interested in anything mechanical,” Hudkins said. “I’ve been part of this festival since the beginning and usually show my smaller engines because the big ones can be hard to move for events.”

Hudkins said attending antique engine shows, such as the Waverly Lions’ festival and Volcano Days, gives people a chance to see how today’s technology evolved.

“Seeing these old engines gives you an idea of how the world works,” Hudkins said. “Our forefathers were probably geniuses because many of these engines are still working with their original parts and that doesn’t happen with today’s engines.”

The festival continues today from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and will include a car show. After a night of bluegrass music Saturday evening, the entertainment will continue today with a gospel sing from 2-4 p.m.

“This is the first time we’ve had a gospel sing and we are looking forward to a nice crowd for it,” Calebaugh said.