There’ll be old-time engines, tractors and various steam and other antique machines on view, mind you. There’ll be manly tractor pulls of both the farm and garden/lawn variety. As a crossover event, expect a lot of action at the antique motorcycle swap meet, running daily in its own area. But prepare thyself as well for hosts of motorcycle aficionados.
The event has updated itself in keeping with demographic shifts to the county and region. Where once it was the wonders of farm machinery that drew seasoned and would-be farmers, at first, and then those nostalgic for regional history in such matters, now the big draw is weekend and would-be bikers. That accounts for the fact that, in addition to what this used to be, enginewise, it has also become a major East Coast motorcycle meet-up: the increasingly famed Rhinebeck Grand National Meet that may focus on Antique Motorcycle Club of America activities and events, but also includes more present- and future-oriented motorcyclists – and straight out bikers, to stretch the terms a bit.
Look for all to use the popular Motorcycle Time Line, now in its fifth year, to be the eeting ground at the County Fairgrounds for all to keep coming back to the 400-plus antique motorcycles, from Daimler and other European forebears through Indians, Harleys and hosts of one-shots, that make up the Motorcycle Timeline: as specialized a glimpse at history as you could ask for. Perhaps you have a great old antique bike that you would like to display; you can sign your bike up for this show at your convenience with the electronic signup form. Rounding out the biker interests will be hundreds of vendors, selling parts, ideas and actual motorcycles of various vintage.
The Antique Machinery and Tractor Show, meanwhile, will be hosted and run by the Century Museum and Collectors’ Association, while a simultaneous Antique Truck Show will be run by the Mid-Hudson Chapter of the Antique Truck Club of America. And to add to the fun – and clattering cacophony sure to result from all these engines getting revved and run at once – will be a special weekend of events at the nearby Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, which will be offering biplane rides and its famous air shows on Saturday and Sunday as a bonus for Fair participants.
If just curious about all this and not a motorhead (yet), remember to bring earplugs – not a book: There’ll be plenty of interesting materials to pick up for reading. And know that it’s all because of this big National Meet (the nation’s biggest, by far) that our roads will be filled with so many bikers and slow-moving vintage tractors all weekend.
It all goes down at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, located at 6500 Springbrook Avenue (Route 9) in Rhinebeck, this Friday through Sunday, June 10 through 12. For further information, including timing of specific events (and air shows), call (845) 876-4001 or visit www.rhinebecknationalmeet.com.