From steam rollers that built our roads to steam-powered machinery that cleared the land and assisted to harvest the North-West’s crops, SteamFest is where Tasmanians can touch their own history at the Sheffield Steam Heritage Centre, March 10-12.
SteamFest is not just about traction engines, it is a showcase of the history of Tasmanian agriculture. From a threshing machine that took 18 men to operate to a rock crusher that helped build the North-West’s first roads: from a kerosene-powered Greyhound Grader that cut the roads around Penguin to a face shovel that was an icon at Rosebery mines; and to a Marshall steam roller that served on the West Coast before being abandoned and, in 1961, was driven all the way from Guildford to Devonport for restoration
Every piece of machinery at SteamFest has an amazing story and those stories are often intertwined with the histories of North-West residents as many of the machines at SteamFest built the roads locals now drive on, or were worked by ancestors of today’s residents.
To get a taste of the lives our forebears led and to see the very machinery that made the North-West what it is today, drop into SteamFest’s 24th anniversary this year and see and touch the history.
This year’s event features pioneering skills such as blacksmithing, steam-powered chaff cutting, threshing, straw pressing, rock crushing, draught horse ploughing, a working bullock team, tractor pulling and a genuine 1890s Letterpress printing machine.
Each and every day, a ‘Kids v Steamroller Tug-o-War’ headlines a fun-packed day of entertainment for the whole family that includes a major new model railway, steam train rides every half hour, archery, a host of musicians and a Steampunk costume competition with a $50 daily prize.
Historic military combat is re-visited through the Tasmanian Light Horse re-enactment and with medieval jousting exhibitions by the Order of the Dragon’s Realm.
With more than 100 stalls featuring food, local produce, art and craft and a variety of local musicians there’s something to see at every turn.
Showcasing one of the largest exhibitions of working steam machinery in Australia, SteamFest opens 9.30am daily from March 10-12 and features the hugely impressive Grand Parade at 3pm each day.