LEWISBURG – During four evenings this month in Lewisburg, audiences are invited to enjoy hot food and drinks, cozy fireside time, and a Spooky Hayride presented by the Buffalo Valley Antique Machinery Association.
The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, as well as October 29 and 30. Tickets cost $ 7 for ages 12 and over, $ 5 for ages 6 to 11, and free for children 5 and under.
According to Anne Heimbach, treasurer of the association, this is the fourth year of the hike, which takes place on the association’s leased land at 8030 West Branch Highway on Route 15, across from Sheetz. It is also the site of the association’s monthly antique tractor pull-ups from April to September, and an annual fall show on the first weekend of October. They also have chicken barbecue dinners and a car show every month from April / May to September.
Heimbach said the association is a non-profit organization with around 250 members.
“Our mission is to educate the public about the first agricultural machinery and the first customs,” she said. The hayrides will be pulled by some of these old machines belonging to the members of the association.
Janet Mincemoyer, a long-time member and former secretary of the association, takes part every year in leading the hike. She said the tractors date back to the 1930s and 1940s. They pull wagons full of bales of hay and each trip averages about 20 people.
According to Mincemoyer, the “spooky” parts of the Hay Ride include its variety of props, including an old cemetery and costumed volunteers – some of whom jump to surprise the riders. The rides travel along the adjacent railway tracks.
Each night, a steam engine whistle will also sound whenever another wagon is about to leave for the next ride.
âIt’s always a topic of conversation,â Mincemoyer said.
She said members try to add more decorations and make changes every year to keep visitors coming back. On nights close to Halloween, many children come in disguise.
âWe are more family oriented,â she said. âWe don’t charge a lot. I think it’s a good thing for families, especially now.
The evening will also feature hot food and drinks available for purchase, including soup, burgers and hot dogs, hot chocolate, coffee and hot cider.
Those waiting for the next round are also encouraged to gather around a campfire on benches provided to stay warm and make s’mores.
Mincemoyer said she enjoys helping out every year.
âWhat I really like is when the wagons come back,â she said. “It really makes me happy to hear everyone so happy.”
The volunteers who help each year also get together in the evenings to share their experiences, and they are equally enthusiastic and happy, she said.
The hayride, like all association events throughout the year, is to reach out and provide a fun experience for their neighbors.
âWith all the activities we do, we reach out to the community to encourage them to come and enjoy their time,â said Mincemoyer.
Each year, they also use the profits to bless the community, donating the money to organizations or people in need.
The association is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year. Mincemoyer appreciated her long-time volunteering and said she often watched her grandchildren who often came with her to the show grounds and were “practically raised” there, she laughed. Many other volunteers have involved their families in the tradition of weekends of community work and monthly and annual events.
During the COVID closures, the association was unable to accommodate their monthly tractor pulls, which affected their finances. Mincemoyer said they still had bills and insurance, as well as maintenance fees to pay.
As they honor the mission and desire of its founders, Mincemoyer said, “We are just trying to keep going.”
For more information, visit the Buffalo Valley Antique Machinery Association Facebook page.