Thresher Reunion returns to Blyth this weekend - Sept. 6, 2018
This weekend, for the 57th time, the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association will be hosting its annual reunion in Blyth.
An annual tradition that began around a Hallahan family kitchen table in East Wawanosh generations ago, the annual reunion now attracts thousands to Blyth every year for a taste of the pioneer way of life as well as the great food, the excellent music and the fellowship among fellow reunion-goers.
Activities are already well underway this week. Campers were welcomed into the Blyth campground on Tuesday, with jam sessions scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
On Thursday, those attending the reunion are welcomed to be part of the annual tractor parade, which is making its way to Clinton this year.
Organizer Joe Hallahan says that those parading to Clinton will enjoy breakfast at Bartliff’s upon arrival and then make their way back to Blyth.
Reunion-goers will be back just in time to take part in the annual Plough Day tradition, which this year will be held at the farm of Gerald Kerr, just east of Blyth on County Road 25.
That night there will be another set of jam sessions. Glen Hodgins will emcee in Shed 1, Annie Pritchard will emcee in Shed 2 and Tom Melady will emcee in Shed 3 with all sessions beginning at 7 p.m.
That night, Doug McNaughton will also host his annual fiddle workshop at 7:30 p.m. in the Blyth and District Community Centre auditorium. This will be the 30th annual fiddle workshop with McNaughton.
As the sun goes down on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Courtney family will be hosting its famous corn roast on the grounds.
On Friday, Sept. 7, the grounds open at 8 a.m. with displays, indoor vendors, arena, outside vendors, student activities, working displays and the Lifestyles Tent all beginning at 9 a.m.
At 10 a.m. the fun tractor pull and horse demonstrations begin, followed by the threshing demonstration, which will begin at 11 a.m. and then return at 1:15 p.m.
The Blyth United Church will serve lunch on both Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Also beginning at 11 a.m. will be Country Ways on the reunion’s main stage.
The potato-picking demonstration will begin at noon, while the opening ceremonies will commence at 12:30 p.m.
At 3 p.m. there will be the daily 50/50 draw, followed by the parade at 4 p.m. The Bluewater Shrine Club’s annual fish fry and Blyth Lions Park also begins at 4 p.m.
The Blyth United Church will serve dinner in the auditorium of the community centre from 4-6 p.m., while the Twilight Serenaders will perform beginning at 6 p.m. in the Lifestyles Tent.
The new attraction, the Stoneboat Pullers will be at the tractor pull run beginning at 7 p.m. and the Country Versatiles will be on the community centre stage that night beginning at 8 p.m.
There will also be jam sessions in both Shed 2 and Shed 3 at 7 p.m. that night.
The Fire Department of North Huron will host its annual breakfast at the Blyth Fire Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
The threshing demonstration will move to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and registration for the fiddle competition will open in Shed 3 at 11 a.m.
Also at 11 a.m. will be the potato-picking demonstration, followed by Pierce’s Country Music on the main stage at noon, which is when the Blyth Lions Club’s beer tent opens. It will remain open until midnight.
The annual fiddle competition begins in Shed 3 at 12:30 p.m., followed by a performance by the Teeswater Pipe Band, the tractor pull (followed by the garden tractor pull), the children’s garden and lawn tractor rodeo and the children’s pedal tractor pull, all of which begin at 1 p.m.
There will be another threshing demonstration at 1:15 p.m., followed by special events such as bag-tying and belt-setting at 1:30 p.m.
The Teeswater Pipe Band will perform again at 3 p.m., followed by the daily 50/50 draw at 3 p.m. and the parade at 4 p.m.
The Blyth United Church will serve supper again from 4-6 p.m., while the Twilight Serenaders will begin at 6 p.m. and the Tri Country Band will perform in the community centre auditorium from 8 p.m. to midnight.
On Sunday, the firefighters will again serve breakfast at the Blyth Fire Hall ahead of the annual church service, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Shed 3.
At 11 a.m., there will be a threshing demonstration and the horse demonstration and the tractor pull (followed by the garden tractor pull) will all begin at 11 a.m.
The Country Versatiles will be on the main stage beginning at 1 p.m., followed by another threshing demonstration at 1:15 p.m., special events at 1:30 p.m., the potato-picking demonstration at 2 p.m. and the 50/50 draw at 3 p.m. and the parade at 4 p.m. to round out the weekend.
The program begins in the Lifestyles Tent on Friday, Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. with Bingo at the cost of $1 per card to help cover costs.
From 9:30-10:30 a.m., Danette McClinchey will be discussing Norwex products that aim to reduce the amount of chemicals in the average household.
From 11-11:30 a.m., Pauleen Kerkhof, a local Epicure representative will be speaking and her presentation will conclude with free samples.
The Lifestyles Tent then closes for lunch between noon and 1 p.m., as it does all three days of the reunion, with programming to return at 1 p.m. with Judy Swift from Creative Creases who will conduct a workshop on how to make your own greeting card or bookmark (a final decision had yet to be made as of press time).
Jillian Walden will then speak between 2-2:30 p.m. on health and wellness, in which Walden has a degree from Brock University.
Walden has been working in the health and wellness field for over 20 years and now owns her own yoga studio in Goderich.
The day will then wrap up with another round of Bingo from 3-3:30 p.m. in time for guests to make their way to the grandstands to take in the daily parade, which is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The Saturday, Sept. 8 program begins with a game of Bingo at 9 a.m., followed once again by McClinchey at 9:30 a.m. and Kerkhof at 11 a.m.
At 1 p.m. there will be Chocolate Bingo (a chocolate bar is required as an entry fee for this fun Bingo game).
The Community Food Advisors will then take to the stage at 2 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. Bingo game.
On Sunday, the Community Food Advisors will open the day at 11 a.m., which will allow reunion-goers to take in the annual church service, which begins at 9:30 a.m.
Sandy Thomson from 31 Gifts and Bags will then speak from 1-1:30 p.m., followed by Bingo at 2 p.m. and Jackpot Bingo at 3 p.m.