The Villages Voice - January 2020

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Hoedown Exhibits

by VHA Staff

Hoedown exhibits

WILD WEST SHOW This Hoedown crowd favorite features saloon floozies, bank robbers, lawmen, and an old west shootout, with plenty of humor and period costumes.  For young and old alike, this show is a must-see.  The Wild West Gunslingers have been doing reenactments since 1996 and currently have 25 cast members.  Sheriff Harley lives in Oxford, FL and is employed with The Villages.  Their set up includes a complete Old Western Town with a saloon, bank, jail, mercantile, and cemetery.  Their show also includes a lesson on gun safety for the kids. CHUCK WAGON Matt and Susan Vaughn's 1861 Studebaker Chuck wagon will be on display at the Hoedown. It was discovered in an old tobacco barn in Tennessee. The Vaughn's painstakingly restored it to its original glory and call it "Dorothy" because of her red wheels.  The wagon is fully stocked as it would have been back in the day with all the cooking supplies and cast iron that's needed to keeps the brisket, beans and biscuits hot and fresh.   It’s another example of what life was really like in The Wild West days. STAGECOACH The iconic American stagecoach was made in the Eastern United States in Concord, New Hampshire by the Abbot and Downing.   Passengers were told to “expect discomfort, annoyance, and hard-ships.  If you are disappointed, thank heaven.”  Passengers sat knee to knee inside.  They were allowed only a bit of luggage.  They were told to expect motion sickness inside the coach.  The mail had first priority to be inside if the weather was bad.  It was a grand adventure intermixed with fear. ANTIQUE FIRETRUCKS The first fire engines in the U.S., called hand pumpers, were shipped to New York from England in the 1700's. Water was pumped from the tub by volunteers working long, parallel handles on the truck. American manufacturers produced similar hand pumpers until the early 1800's, when the steam pumper was developed, which supplied a continuous stream of water more effectively. The earliest fire trucks were hand pulled to the scene, but by the mid-1800's, horses were used. In 1906, the Radnor Fire Company in Wayne, PA began offering a pumper with two gasoline motors, bringing fire trucks into the modern age. CHAINSAW CARVING The oldest chainsaw artist records go back to the 1950's but it wasn’t until the 1980's that the art form really began to grow.  Although many carvers continue to use other tools alongside the chainsaw, the chainsaw remains the primary tool.  Chainsaw carving has become a worldwide phenomenon with chainsaw carvers all over the world.    The woodcarver for the Hoedown is Jim Fife, who hails from Bushnell.  Not only will he demonstrate his craft, he will have items for sale as well. FARMALL MUSEUM TRAVELING EQUIPMENT Stewart Paquette has a thing for red tractors.  When he retired from running a paving company in Leesburg, he bought a couple of classic Farmall tractors, and then he bought another, and another and another. Now he has the world’s most comprehensive collection of 150 Farmall tractors, the oldest from 1923.  They're all on display at The Paquette Historical Farmall Tractor Museum off CR44 east of Wildwood, West of Leesburg.  He’ll bring his traveling exhibit to The Hoedown for attendees to get just a peak at his passion.  QUILT EXHIBIT AND RAFFLE The Quilting Guild of The Villages will once again have a booth with a variety of quilts to raffle off.  Tickets are purchased at their exhibit, put in the container by the quilt desired, and winners drawn and announced during The Hoedown. DRAFT HORSES ON EXHIBIT These majestic animals have plenty of muscle to make them something to behold.  They were vital to farmers across America in the days before the Industrial Revolution, providing gentle horse power to tame The Wild West and forever be admired for their strength and beauty.