Paying homage to heritage

Ray Stout, right, of Hershey, and Ben Burkert and Zac Burkert operate a vintage baler owned by Stout and Sons Antiques at the Lincoln County Museum Heritage Festival on Saturday.

Music sounded across the Lincoln County Historical Museum grounds on Saturday as the annual Heritage Festival got underway.

The Flat Rock Irregulars began the day with a set of Irish tunes followed by the Gospel Lites. At noon, the North Platte Municipal Band performed under the gazebo and then the Firebrand Band took the stage at the other end of the historical town.

Ray Stout, Ben Burkert and Zac Burkert operated the Stout and Sons Antiques vintage baler. They said it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.

“It’s an early 1900s John Deere hay press,” Stout said. “It was actually made by Dain Manufacturing, which was bought out by John Deere.”

Stout said the machine was originally used in the Platte valley.

“I bought it at a sale several years ago and restored it, made it work and use it about every year,” Stout said. “You pitch hay into it and you hand-tie it.”

When the baler was in use full time, Stout said, a crew of five ran it.

The festival continues today beginning with Cowboy Church at 12:30 p.m.

The beard contest will take place at 2:30 p.m. A model train show, petting zoo, corn scramble and blacksmith demonstrations go on all day.

There will also be spinning and weaving demonstrations, and food and other vendors will hawk their wares throughout the day.

The museum is located at 2403 N. Buffalo Bill Ave., just east of the Wild West Arena.

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