Franklin County is gearing up for the 16th annual Southwest Virginia Antique Farm Days, held this year over Father’s Day weekend, June 14-16, at Franklin County Recreation Park. The three-day event showcases restored farm machinery and implements used in early Southwest Virginia agriculture.

General admission is $6 per day; children 12 and younger are admitted free. The event usually attracts approximately 5,000 visitors. Proceeds go toward the Farm Days’ mission to restore and preserve antique farm equipment.

Organizers have added music and a car show to this year’s Sunday lineup. At 1 p.m. is an antique car cruise-in style car show. At 1:30 p.m., bluegrass group Roger Handy and Southern Depot will perform, featuring Charlie Robertson on bass, Stuart Werner on banjo, Jackie Cooper on mandolin and vocals, and Ernie Power on dobro.

Farm Days will again this year include exhibitors with antique tractors and farm equipment, plus a full lineup of demonstrations such as hit-n-miss engines, threshing and baling, sawmilling, shingle milling, cornmeal grinding, wood tuning, rock crushing, and blacksmithing. Sunday at 4:30 p.m. is the lawn-mower drawing to benefit Crossroads and We Care.

The event also features a tractor pull, daily tractor parades, tractor games, chainsaw competition, lawnmower pull, horse pull, and activities for children. Shopping options include an expanded flea market of antiques, engines, tractors and farm-related items; plus an auction featuring the same types of items Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Farm Days’ notable antique machines include a 1923 wood FRICK threshing machine, a 1915 Peerless Steam Tractor, and a 10-foot-high 1923 Fairbanks Morse engine that was the main power source for the Exchange Mill in Rocky Mount until 1959.

Recreation Park is located just south of Rocky Mount at 2150 Sontag Road (Va. 619). Gates open at 8 a.m. and close after the 6 p.m. chainsaw competition Friday; and at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more info, visit Camping is available for vendors.

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