The amount of history embedded in and around Northwest Indiana is easy to forget thanks to our proximity to Chicago– but some organizations, like Northern Indiana Power from the Past Inc., are dedicated to preserving and highlighting the people and machines that helped make Indiana what it is today. This weekend, Power from the Past hosted their annual Power Weekend at Winamac Town Park, a small peninsula nestled in by Pulaski County’s Tippecanoe River.
This year’s Power Show was the 41st rendition of the annual event and featured a massive flea market, tractor pulls, blacksmithing, and live demonstrations of some antique American machinery. For Winamac, the host town, the event is the highlight and pride of the community.
“This is a demonstration of what helped to build this country,” said Josh Wilder, President and Event Director of Northern Indiana Power from the Past Inc. “We like to show people what really went on so many years ago. We’ve been blessed with good crowds over the years, and we keep trying to make it more interesting for people to come along.”
Many of the machines on display were far more than your standard antique machinery– some dated back to the earlier 1800’s and the Industrial Revolution. Part of what makes every Power from the Past show so unique is that it is far more than a simple line-up of old machines sitting idle. The team instead brings some of the oldest, biggest, and loudest machines back to life for live demonstrations.
“Seeing all these people come out is just the greatest, it’s why we have this,” said Bob Smith, Event Director for Power from the Past. “And people love the flea market— you can’t have a decent gas engine and tractor show without a good flea market.”
People toured the flea market stalls featuring handcrafted items, tools both practical and vintage, tried their hands at basic woodworking, and of course, enjoyed freshly grilled foods. For Pulaski County, a small community with plenty of pride and a lot of history and culture to show, the Power Show is their annual opportunity to go all out and showcase what makes their community fantastic.
“It’s awesome to see people come out. We always look at the different license plates,” said Connie Jones, who has attended the Power Show with her family for over 30 years now. “It’s not like a fair, because we don’t really have rides or anything, but when I came out last night and saw people just sitting talking in golf carts, I thought that’s what it’s all about. We see all these people once or twice a year and this is a chance to get caught up with each other’s lives.”
Learn more about Pulaski County, including all their events and over 10,000 acres of state parks, at pulaskionline.org.