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Wheat People - Part 8

Goessel's annual Threshing Days celebration, 1998.Celebrating Kansas Harvest

The Season's End

"If everything was going well . . . Fourth of July we could go up to Sterling and watch the fireworks, and that would be kind of our reward."
--Gayla Moeckel, Plevna, 1998

People mark the end of harvest in different ways.

Families sometimes celebrate quietly by having dinner at a local restaurant. Others say good-bye to custom crews and hired hands over barbeque and homemade ice cream.

Goessel's Threshing Days celebration, 1998.

Community Festivals

Many Kansas communities gather on a larger scale for after-harvest festivals and threshing demonstrations.

The Fourth of July has become even more important because it usually coincides with the close of harvest in central Kansas. In these communities, the holiday marks the season's end.


Threshing machines in operation at Goessel's Threshing Days event, 1998.

Events such as the Wellington Wheat Festival, Goessel Threshing Days, and Wilson Czech After Harvest Festival feature parades, contests, and lots of good food. Many offer threshing demonstrations, giving older farmers an opportunity to reminisce about the golden days of threshing.

"It is THE big community event. . . . A wheat king and wheat queen are crowned. They are farmers, and the winner is based on the entry of wheat samples. It's really who raised the best wheat that harvest."
--Robert Miller, Wellington, 1998


Wheat People: Celebrating Kansas Harvest is an online exhibit developed by the Kansas Museum of History.

  1. Wheat History - Corn used to be "King" in Kansas
  2. Gearing Up - Getting ready for harvest
  3. On the Run - Everybody moves quickly
  4. Family - Coming together in the fields
  5. Fast Food - Meals are a social event
  6. Nature - June is a stormy month
  7. To Market, To Market - The local grain elevator
  8. The Season's End - Harvest festivals
  9. Business or Way of Life? - Farming is both

Contact us at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov