Butler County Times Gazette
  • Windmiller’s Trade Fair and Convention returning to El Dorado

  • For over a century and half windmills were the machinery that sustained life in rural America.
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  • El Dorado, KS - For over a century and half windmills were the machinery that sustained life in rural America.
    There was one on every farmstead, and many dotted the landscape bringing life-giving water to livestock and crops.  El Dorado and Butler County citizens will soon get a glimpse back into history when these majestic machines are showcased in their community.
    El Dorado Convention and Visitors Bureau and Flint Hills Windmill and Pump Service announce the 25th annual International Windmillers’ Trade Fair and Convention to be held in El Dorado June 4, 5 and 6.
     Windmillers from across the USA, Canada, Mexico and perhaps China, will descend on the Butler County Community Center and 4-H grounds for three days of buying, selling, trading and learning about our American water pumping windmills.
     Windmiller’s were last in El Dorado in 2009, with over 350 in attendance.  The group so enjoyed the hospitality and the wonderful facilities that they voted to return in 2013 with El Dorado beating out several other cities for the honor.
     The first Trade Fair was held in 1989 in Portales, New Mexico organized by a group of windmill enthusiasts who were interested in holding a trade fair “with the intention of swapping mills, parts and pieces, or tall tales” with other wind machine collectors from around the country.  The trade fair has grown and prospered ever since.  The trade fairs have been held in, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana and Canada.
     In addition to trading, the fair includes demonstrations on restoration techniques and talks on wind power history.  Noted author and lecturer Dr. T. Lindsay Baker will be in attendance.  Dr. Baker wrote the “bible” on windmills entitled “Field Guide of the American Windmill” which is the leading authority on the subject.  Exhibitors come with displays of unusual and rare windmills, windmill counter weights and salesman sample models.  The Cassoday 4-H club will be serving concessions at the Clover Mill Café on site at the community center.  The Community Center will close each day at 5PM and reopen at 8AM.
     Events at the trade fair will include a “First Nighter’s Buffet” at El Dorado Chop house.  The second night will feature an ice cream social with some light entertainment.  Banquet and entertainment with Ventriloquist Gregg Klaassen performing at the Chop House on Wednesday evening and on the final night, a trip to the Joe and Donna Harper Farm to view the large collection of windmills with a hog roast and all the “fixins” to cap off the event at their rural Sedgwick, Kansas farm.
    Page 2 of 2 -  All events at the Community Center and grounds are free and the public is welcome.  There is a charge for ice cream social and the other meals.
    For further information contact Chuck Jones at Flint Hills Windmill and Pump Service in Benton, 316-778-1191.  Or check events at http://www.360eldorado.com/AttractionsAndEntertainment/InternationalWindmillersTradeFair.html.
     
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