Steam, Gas & Horse Association Steam Show to take place

Candid photo by Ron Moyer

Candid photo by Ron Moyer

Not many become steamed over the advent of spring, but the arrival of May’s 36th annual National Pike Steam, Gas, and Horse Association Spring Show should be a good reason.

Coming on May 21 and 22, concurrent with National Pike Days, this year’s show brings a noteworthy medley of antique cars, tractors and trucks, vintage excavation equipment. Steam powered machinery and a rare Fairbanks Morse generator are also set to roar to life on the 105 acre fairgrounds, located at 222 Spring Rd, Brownsville PA.

Association director, Scott Higginbotham, of Malden, PA, says of the event “There is so much for people to see and do. It’s a nice, relaxing day for people to come and enjoy one of the largest shows of its kind in the tri-state area.”

Higginbotham, whose involvement with the association reaches back to 1991, notes that it’s not just a show for guys, but is a family show with no entrance fee and “very reasonable” prices for the food, all of which is made on site by the vendors. $1 sodas and water ensure affordable, proper hydration for all visitors.

“It will be the largest stop on the Pike,” Higginbotham enthused, adding that it’s easy to get around the ground’s park-like setting, which makes it easy for international visitors from Germany, Denmark, France, England, and Canada, along with U.S. citizens from all 50 states, to enjoy a taste of down-home cuisine while admiring one of the largest digging shows in the United States.

A working steam shovel will partake in the digging, along with vintage excavators and bulldozers from storied manufactures such as Caterpillar and International Harvester. For safety reasons, there are no public rides on the equipment. However, a nature ride along a trail that goes around the outer edge of the facility provides an attractive alternative to peruse the grounds off of one’s feet. Higginbotham notes that there are over 400 different species of trees on the 105 acre site.

In addition to admiring rows of red tractors from Speedex, industrial gray Fords, or the instantly recognizable John Deere green machinery, visitors seeking a more electric, diesel scented experience can delight in observing a running, three cylinder Fairbanks Morse engine (generator). The diesel engine towers over 11 feet, sits on 4 feet of concrete, and was one of three units that ran for 50 years to provide electrical power to a small town in New York state, Higginbotham said.

Candid photo by Ron Moyer

Candid photo by Ron Moyer

The show extends beyond mechanized eye-candy through steam equipment demonstrations that satisfy children’s curiosity about “…how things were built, and how things are done,” Higginbotham said.

A working saw mill on site, used to create all the rough cut lumber for the association’s buildings, will be run at various times during the show.

Kids can visit a rope maker and learn how to make their own piece of rope, or drop a stone into a stone crusher, which turns it into gravel – the likes of which provides roadways through some of the fairgrounds.

Rounding out the festivities is a craft area featuring over 70 vendors, a colossal flea market with 100 vendors, live music, and food galore.

Come rain or shine, the show will go on, so get ready for a weekend of large-scale family fun and activities at the National Pike Steam, Gas and Horse Association Spring Show. Visit their facebook page at:

Candid photography from past years’ events courtesy of Ron Moyer.
Story by Keren Lee Dreyer for Pennsylvania Bridges