What is bright green and yellow and not (necessarily) a Duck fan? John Deere tractors! And with a new Deere museum ready to show off, there’s no better place to make tracks with your littles than at The Great Oregon Steam Up. You’ll see these antiques up close alongside ride-on trains, electric trolleys, giant dozers and Corvettes so pretty you’ll cry. You’ve got two weekends to choose from – July 27 & 28 or August 3 & 4. It’s your best chance all year to spend a day surrounded by green and yellow in Oregon – outside of Autzen Stadium, of course.
Getting Chuggy With It
Held every summer at the end of July and first weekend of August, The Great Oregon Steam Up is a day of delights for those who are crushing on tracked and wheeled machines. The train and trolley rides are a must, the live music and food are a-plenty, and the museums are all open and ready for your visit. There are flea markets to peruse and a mid-day parade, plus kiddo pedal-tractor pulls and grown up tractor races. It’s a one-stop-fits-all day of ooohing and aahing and enjoying the hard work of legions of volunteers who work to restore these machines and equipment all year.
Keep Calm and Steam On
Located halfway between Portland and Salem in the mean streets of Brooks, Antique Powerland is something to behold. On their sixty-two acres are fifteen museums dedicated to steam tractors, two cylinder John Deeres, vintage trolleys from Portland, SF and as far away as Hong Kong, a blacksmith shop, steam sawmill (complete with carving) and country store, vintage motorcycles and cars, an early fire service museum, a model railroad display and club and way more.
A Triple Threat That Rivals Justin Timberlake…Kinda
During the Great Oregon Steam Up everything on display is operable. Think about that for a minute. 15 museums, 62 acres and everything works? It’s a hall-of-fame weekend for any little engineers and their classic-car-appreciatin’ grown ups who love them a big T triple threat – trolleys, trains and tractors (among other mighty machines). And 25,0000 people do each year!
All Aboard a Mini Ride-on Train!
Just when you thought you’d ridden every train around, here’s a new one: a small-scale train steaming around a one mile track. Perfectly sized for kiddos and adults alike (the lines can be a bit long at this uber-popular ride). The trolleys are super fly with a track built around the property that takes about twenty minutes. You can jump off halfway, tour their Oregon Electric Railroad Museum then hop back on for a lift back to the main ground action. The truck museum showcases four-wheeled magic from 1912 to 1993 and the vintage car museum is a replica of the 1930’s Texaco Station. You gotta see it!
Go Big and Go Home…Happy
The Great Oregon Steam Up is July 27 and 28 and August 3 and 4 with gate hours from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm each day. Admission is $10 for adults and kiddos over twelve. Antique Powerland can be found easily and parking is ample. The tractor and equipment parade is at 1:30 each day. Make tracks, ride the rails, win a race and catch a parade with your little dozers. The Great Oregon Steam Up was made to go BIG. You can’t help it.
— Liz Overson
Photos courtesy of the Northwest Vintage Car & Motorcycle Museum and Antique Powerland Museum Facebook pages, Mike Bade and Liz Overson.