Antique power show planned for July 29-31 south of HastingsNo, you won’t be able to pull up and order a cheeseburger or onion rings this weekend at Porky’s drive-in, but you will be able to see it restored. The drive-in is one of several new features planned for the Little Log House Antique Power Show, set to run July 29-31.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
No, you won’t be able to pull up and order a cheeseburger or onion rings this weekend at Porky’s drive-in, but you will be able to see it restored. The drive-in is one of several new features planned for the Little Log House Antique Power Show, set to run July 29-31.
The show will run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The pioneer village is located south of Hastings along Highway 61 at 220th Street.
Porky’s was saved from the dumpster earlier this summer when organizers at the pioneer village stepped in to save it. The land the St. Paul landmark sat on was sold and the restaurant closed shortly thereafter.
Steve Bauer, who operates the pioneer village with his family, bought the building and disassembled it, later moving it to Hastings. It has been repainted and restored. The original car port is being completed in advance of the show, too.
Classic cars will be invited to be parked in the carport during the show. Old menus from the restaurant will be on hand, as will stories from couples who were fond of the drive-in.
Tickets are $10.
Children 12-and-under are free.
The arrival of Porky’s isn’t the only big change to the annual show. Chevrolet and John Deere are honored this year. Expect to see all kinds of green tractors arriving this year, and expect to see just as many bowties rolling into town.
Every year the show includes steam threshing demonstrations, a large flea market, a children’s barnyard, live music, pancake breakfasts, tractor and truck pulls and re-enactments by the Cannon Old West Society.
Attractions include a replica of the Spiral Bridge in Hastings, the St. Boniface church, a one-room schoolhouse, a dress shop, a butcher shop and a blacksmith. There are a number of historic buildings and homes as well.
Attendance at the show depends largely upon the weather, Bauer said.
“If we can keep it under 90 (degrees), we will have a minimum of 10,000 people,” he said. “If we have 100-degree weather, it’s like everything else – you can cut that number in half.”
So far, the forecast looks great for the weekend, with high temperatures reaching the mid-80s.
• Porky’s wasn’t the only piece of history the village has saved over the last year.
The village learned about three enormous rafters that were going to be destroyed after some roofing problems at a church in Carver. Three of the rafters were saved by the village and brought to Hastings to be used as a new food stand for St. Joseph’s Church in Miesville. The church makes homecooked meals during the show and needed a new stand.
• Some of the attractions at the village include the gardens maintained by Sylvia Bauer.
“She has made a major change in the flower garden,” Steve Bauer said. “It was pretty darn nice the way it was. She decided to make some changes and go to some different types of annuals and perennials and some different landscaping. It’s quite a remarkable change. She has put a lot of hard work into that.”
• Bauer has secured another classic police car to show at the event. It is a 1946 Ford from Weasel Springs, Ark.
A 1958 Chevrolet police car from North Dakota has been part of the show in the past and will be there again this year.
• An Army barracks has been added. For more on this see, the story above on this page.
• Backup power for the event is provided by two enormous diesel generators that are from World War I battleships, Bauer said.
After the war ended, the battleships were scrapped and the power plants were distributed to communities across the United States to run in cases of emergency or when power was out.
Two of them ended up in Kenyon and served the community there for about 50 years as backup power supplies.
“You gotta see these things,” Bauer said. “They are absolutely beautiful. They’re just not normal.”
Bauer said that in about 1990 they were headed for the scrap yard before the village stepped in to save them.