Pioneer Day Committee hosts antique equipment show in Santa Margarita
The second Santa Margarita Antique Equipment Show will be held over Memorial Day weekend. The last show was held in 2010. The event is sponsored by the Paso Robles Pioneer Day Committee, Rossi Foundation and Santa Margarita Ranch.
Event organizer Tom Madden said that the committee got so many people ask “when are you going to do it again?” over the last five years. “So we decided to make it an annual deal,” he said.
The event will be held Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 24 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per day or $25 for a weekend pass. Children 10 and under get in free. The steam train will pull the original Disneyland coaches around the ranch, tickets are $5 per adult or $10 for an all-day pass. The weekend will also include vintage airplanes, military vehicles, huge tractor, engine and earth-mover gathering, antique cars, trucks and mules. Visitors will also be able to take a ride in a World War II area halftrack or an amphibious DUKW from the Estrella Warbirds Museum.
“We have one of the best early California-made tractor [shows],” Madden said, adding that the show has a lot of “neat California history.”
Additionally, he said that show will have the one of the largest display of earth-moving Caterpillars. While a lot of vehicles come from the Pioneer Day Committee, Madden said that machinery and vehicles will be coming from around California, Washington and Wyoming. In 2010, there were 3,000 to 4,000 people at the four-day event.
“It’s family friendly, patriotic. It’s Memorial Day weekend … it’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by military men and women,” Madden said, adding that the ranch will be decked out with hundreds of American flags and every day at noon there will be a salute to veterans and to honor deceased military veterans. At that time, there will be a flyover from Estrella Warbirds Museum. All active military in uniform will receive free admission. Tri-tip sandwiches and Firestone beer will also be available for purchase.
“There’s a lot to see,” Madden said. “If you’re going to see it and really study it, you’re not going to see it all in one day. … [There’s] a lot of history. It’s Americana at it’s best.”
All of the machines in the show are working, Madden said, though he joked that some of them won’t be working after the long weekend. Madden has a crew of men working on tractors as they arrive to get those not currently running, ready for Friday. The exhibit includes Mary Ann, a large machine that spent 60 years in Antartica. Deas Plant of Australia said that there were 10 of those machines in operation in Antartica. They were all made between 1953 and 1959. They were made especially to traverse the thick ice and over crevices.
“There’s been nothing in Antartica before or since that could do what it could,” Plant said.