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Vendors and volunteers feed threshing show crowds

Posted 7/19/16 (Tue)

Vendors and volunteers feed threshing show crowds

By Carrie Sandstrom
They came, they saw, they ate.
Crosby’s annual Threshing Show, which took place this weekend, saw plenty of people flocking to the town’s Pioneer Village where historical displays, tractors and other activities gave folks plenty to do and see. Luckily, there was also plenty to eat.
“We’ve got a lot of people out here,” Divide County Historical Society Secretary Doreen Schilke said. “So we’ve got a lot of people to feed.”
Schilke, along with Peg  Nygaard and Gail Adams have served as co-chairs of the kitchen in the lunch building the past several years, working alongside an army of volunteers to keep the building up and going throughout the event.
“I love working here,” Nygaard said. “It’s hard work, but it’s fun  . . . You see so many people year to year that keep coming back.”
According to Nygaard, 15 volunteers are needed for each of the eight volunteer shifts throughout the weekend. Some shifts, she said, feature the same workers year to year, people who have made volunteering there a tradition. Some shifts are staffed almost entirely by members of the same family, with kids helping to bus tables while older family members work in the kitchen. 
“It’s all about the volunteers,” Nygaard said. “It takes a lot of people to help out to pull this together.”
The main stretch of the parade route was dotted with food vendors and trucks. A large signed advertised “lemonade” in bright pink, green and yellow above Citrus Cyclones. The recently renovated R.H. Points building, which Schilke said was completed just two days before the event started, stood next to the Big Iron Kitchen’s food truck which advertised Indian tacos at the top of its menu.
Farther north, the Happy Elephant food truck was nestled next to the Engine Building. The truck, run by Dan Danielson out of Sidney, Mont., was making its first appearance at the threshing bee and offered a combination of Chinese and Thai food. 
Danielson, who also owns the Asian Garden restaurant in Sidney said the Threshing Bee is different than other events he works during the summer. Out at Pioneer Village, he said, people’s focus seemed to be more on talking to each other and reconnecting, instead of running to different rides and activities.
“People are pretty friendly up here,” he said. “I’m glad to be here and I hope to see everyone again.”
Just off the parade route, Melissa Brown served sweet and savory crepes out of her food truck. This was the second year that Brown and her truck, Lahtidas Coffee and Crepes, have come to the show.
Brown, who’s from Bainville, Mont., said she first decided to sell crepes at the event because her mom, Christine Sampson, lives in Noonan, but she’s stayed for the customers and experience.
“We have very loyal customers,” Brown said. “Once they have a crepe once, they keep coming back.”
Another benefit of the Threshing Bee, Brown said, is how family friendly the event is. Brown has six kids and she brought them all with her to help with the food truck and to enjoy the activities during the weekend.
“We love the Threshing Bee,” Brown said. “This is our favorite weekend of all the shows we do  . . . it’s very family friendly.”
Rita Fuhrman and her three daughters come to the threshing bee every year. It’s a tradition, Fuhrman said, and there’s plenty for the kids to do, with plenty of games and activities geared toward youth. This year, the group rode in the parade with the Sons of Norway, making their way down the parade route in a horse drawn buggy decked out with Norwegian flags. After the parade, they stopped at Fee’s Lil Rib Shack for a rib dinner and tinfoil wrapped turkey leg. 
“It takes a lot of effort to make sure it all happens,” Fuhrman said. “A lot of people have to get here really early to make sure everyone gets fed.”