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Shakedown in Symco

Classic hot rod show set for Aug. 7-8

The seventh annual Symco Shakedown is set to bring back memories of high school days or drag races back in ’59.

For two days in August, the tiny town of Symco hosts hundreds of 1964 and earlier hot rods, custom cars and vintage motorcycles.

Over a dozen rock ’n roll, rockabilly, surf and classic country bands provide entertainment until 11 p.m. both Friday and Saturday night.

Thursday, Aug. 6, is setup day and pre-registrants are treated to a party. Spectators are welcome.

The cars are unlike any other car show. The Hondas, Toyotas and mini-trucks are left at home and the dust is blown off real, original hot rods from the 1950s and 1960s, along with some recent built “old school” type rides.

Custom cars are plenty and chopped Mercurys and channeled Model As cruise down the main drag in “Unionville,” a faux town built to look like main street USA around 1920.

Musical talent from all over the country entertains on multiple stages during the two-day show. Acts include The Paladins from California, Kevin Fayte Rock and Roll Trio, Honky Tonkitis, Eddie Clendening and the Blue Ribbon Boys, The Madpolecats, Screamin’ Rebel Angels from New York, and many more.

Weekend camping along the scenic Little Wolf River includes over 80 campsites filled with vintage campers and tents. There is also space available for “new” campers.

There are over 200 vending spaces filled with everything from vintage auto parts, antiques, tin signs and vintage bicycles.

The seventh annual “Symco 125” mini-bike drag race will be held Saturday on the Union Thresheree’s clay track. Last year there were over 65 racers.

Throughout the two days, the Union Threshermen demonstrate the vintage, equipment that Larry Werth and the Union Thresherman’s Club have collected over the years. Large industrial Fairbanks Morris stationary diesel engines are running on display.

Plenty of good food and beverages will be available at the show. There will be burgers, brats, BBQ, wraps and breakfast.

The historic Symco venue is known nationwide as the home to the National Antique Tractor Pull, which is held the last weekend in July during the Symco Thresheree.

The showgrounds itself is a treasure trove of Americana with dozens of historic buildings featuring thousands of antique signs, gas pumps, stationary engines and the like. There is also an operating sawmill and feed mill, along with a blacksmith shop, on the grounds.

Other attractions include a barbershop, post office, print shop, firehouse, jail, bank and other early 20th century displays.

Weekend admission is $25. Daily admission is $5 on Thursday, $10 Friday and $20 on Sunday. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

The thresheree grounds is located on State Highway 22 north of Manawa.

For more information, visit www.symcoshakedown.com.

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