Put on the bootstraps and head on out to the 45th annual Albany Pioneer Days, Sept. 13-15. The gates open at 7 a.m., including a huge flea market with lots of dealers.
Located at and sponsored by the Stearns County Pioneer Club at 21565 360th Street in Albany, visitors can expect a wide variety of displays and activities.
This year’s theme, besides honoring the good ol’ days of western pioneering, features antique Case tractors and Galloway gas engines. More than 400 tractors and 500 gas engines will be displayed, along with many collector cars and trucks, snowmobiles, a farm museum, working models, a blacksmith shop and more.
Visitors will also be able to watch threshing demonstrations, and the operation of lumber, shingle and flour mills and other machinery, including a print shop.
Those who wonder what attending a country school was like back in the day will have the opportunity to attend one with classes in session.
Those who want to leave Pioneer Days with more than sweet memories can visit the general store and the souvenir shop for a wide variety of items for sale.
In addition, there will be post office/telephone and telegraph displays.
Friday, Sept. 13, will offer visitors a variety of events. The garden tractor pull will be held at 6 p.m. with registration starting at 5 p.m. Those who are interested in learning more about this event, may call Jeff Mortensen at (320) 339-5071.
The pioneer queen and pioneer princess will be coronated in the saloon at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14, will be full of activities. At 1:30 p.m., visitors will have the chance to see the parade of tractors.
Then, starting at dusk, participants can show off their muscle and technique in the log sawing contest, starting at dusk.
Catholic Masses will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 15, at 8 a.m.
An Ecumenical church service will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.
All church services are held at the Arban Church on the fairgrounds.
Sunday, Sept. 15, brings its own gun smoke with the Wild Creek Entertainers holding their “Wild West Show” at 11:30 a.m.
A tractor parade will be held at 2 p.m. A silent auction and a raffle drawing will be held in the feature building, at 3 p.m.
Throughout the three-day celebration of Pioneer Days, music will be provided by a variety of genres, such as old tyme and country in the saloon, bluegrass in the new feature building until noon on Sunday, open mic on the bluegrass stage and open jam at 10 p.m. and karaoke in the saloon, both Friday and Saturday.
Sunday morning will also be dedicated to an hour of gospel music.
“It’s going to be a great time,” said Brennan Shay, president of Stearns County Pioneer Club.
For Shay, Pioneer Days is more than a reminder of the good ol’ days. It is a reminder of what it was like growing up and spending time on his grandpa’s farm, he said.
“Grandpa farmed with some of the old equipment, so it definitely brings back memories,” he said.
For more information about Pioneer Days, call (320) 573-1996 or visit www.albanypioneer days.com.