48th annual Bernardston Gas Engine Show expected to be biggest event yet

A couple checks out a row of tractors at the 2023 Gas Engine Show, Flea Market & Craft Fair in Bernardston.

A couple checks out a row of tractors at the 2023 Gas Engine Show, Flea Market & Craft Fair in Bernardston. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Belchertown resident Robert Kosuda with his one-lung gas engine powering a two-piston pump at the 2023 Gas Engine Show, Flea Market and Craft Fair in Bernardston.

Belchertown resident Robert Kosuda with his one-lung gas engine powering a two-piston pump at the 2023 Gas Engine Show, Flea Market and Craft Fair in Bernardston. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Russ Miller, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, with his 1959 Shaw Du-All and a Jaques Mighty Mite at the 2023 Gas Engine Show, Flea Market and Craft Fair in Bernardston.

Russ Miller, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, with his 1959 Shaw Du-All and a Jaques Mighty Mite at the 2023 Gas Engine Show, Flea Market and Craft Fair in Bernardston. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By SAM FERLAND

For the Recorder

Published: 05-22-2024 2:35 PM

Modified: 05-22-2024 2:50 PM


BERNARDSTON — Travelers from across the country are coming to relish in the 48th annual Gas Engine Show, Flea Market & Craft Fair this weekend, where collectors will show off their antique tractors, food vendors will serve everything from pies to French fries, and flea market vendors will sell their handmade wares.

“A lot of these families have been coming forever, generation after generation, and they have the memories of when they came with their grandparents,” said Logistics Chair Bob Allen, who is accompanied by 24 other organizers each in charge of a specific aspect of the three-day event. The event was co-founded by Russell Deane, who still attends at the age of 95.

The show is this weekend at Pratt Field on South Street, and it is expected to be the biggest show yet, with more vendors and restored antique engines and tractors to marvel at. The site is expected to host between 6,000 to 8,000 visitors over the weekend.

“We have people coming from as far as Canada and California to show their engines. It’s not a local attendance, that’s for sure,” Allen noted.

The Gas Engine Show, Flea Market & Craft Fair has expanded since it was stopped for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flea market vendors will be selling goods and products of all kinds, with all proceeds from the food vendors going to the United Church of Bernardston’s mission work.

Starting on Friday at 11:30 a.m., food booths open and raffle tickets go on sale. An auction will be held at 6 p.m. to close out Friday’s events.

Food vendors open at 6 a.m. on Saturday serving breakfast until 9:30 a.m., leading into the start of the engine show along with the opening of the flea market and craft fair at 8 a.m. The children’s tractor pulls will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I went as a kid and now I’m bringing my kids, too. I always wanted to do tractor pulls, but didn’t have the chance,” said Ben Eastman, one of the other 24 organizers. “Now I am able to set up my kids with tractors.”

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The first of two tractor parades starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with a traditional ham and bean supper from 5 to 6 p.m to wrap up Saturday’s events.

A worship service for the church begins Sunday at 8 a.m. and breakfast will be served during the same hours as on Saturday, followed by the engine show, craft fair and flea market opening at 9 a.m. The second tractor parade is at 11 a.m. and the event closes with the raffle drawing at 1 p.m.

Both Allen and Eastman emphasized the great family environment the show offers and the generations of families that come every year. Many younger fans are able to see and learn about engines from past generations, which are becoming more difficult to access as years go by.

More information can be found on the Bernardston Gas Engine Show, Flea Market & Craft Fair’s Facebook page, facebook.com/BernardstonGasEngineShow.