XENIA — It started as a simple two-day event in Clifton that grew into a full-fledged festival.
And 45 years later the annual Old Timers Days at the Greene County Fairgrounds remains a top September attraction.
“Some area farmers decided that they wanted to get together and do some threshing (the process of loosening the edible part of cereal grain or other crop from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it) and stuff like that,” said Lester Davis, a charter member of the Old Timers Club.
At the fairgrounds since 1989, the three-day event is more than just threshing. Attendees can see farm equipment in operation, shop in the flea market or feast on some yummy food.
“We have the best food booths in the State of Ohio out here,” Davis said. “If you come out here and go home hungry, it’s your own fault.”
In addition to feeding attendees, organizers want to feed law enforcement officials.
“We want to honor them,” Davis said.
Any police or “law protecting people” who show up Saturday will not pay to eat, whether its a bowl of soup beans, a hot dog or pie and ice cream.
Opening ceremonies are 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 and conclude with the golf cart parade 8 p.m. Highlights for Friday, Sept. 25 include a threshing demo, a saw mill demo and a hayride.
Saturday features include a car show noon-5 p.m., which is open to members and non-members, a hog calling contest and Waynesville-based country musician Richard Lynch, who is at the top of many country music charts.
Sunday, Sept. 26 activities include a church service, bubble blowing contest and a kiddie bale toss.
Admission is $4 daily. Kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult. A 3-day pass is $10. Senior citizens pay just $1 Friday.
All proceeds are used to help various organizations in the county.
“We always try to give back to the community,” Davis said. “We want people to help us so we can help them.”
The raffle this year will be for a 1949 John Deere MT. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The drawing is 4 p.m. Sunday. Lumber from the sawmill will be auctioned 3 p.m Sunday.