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The Power of Steam Comes Alive at the Kutztown Folk Festival

Visitors to the 68th annual Kutztown Folk Festival will be treated to the quiet power of one of the largest portable traction steam engines ever built.  On loan from the Rough & Tumble Historical Steam Association in Kinzer, PA, this year’s festival will feature a 1910 Case, model-75 steam traction engine.

“The 13 ton steam marvel will fit right in, as the Festival is well known for its folklife and historical demonstrations”, referenced Steve Sharadin Festival director. Each day Ben and Dave Sonon will assist engine operator Nathan Stokes as he “belts-up”, or powers various antique agricultural equipment from the Sonon’s vast collection. 

During the 1860’s to 1920’s, the height of the steam era, these versatile and portable engines could be found not just in Pennsylvania Dutch country, but throughout the entire Nation providing quiet reliable power.  The steam era allowed for great advancements in agriculture, logging, freight hauling, and numerous other industrial and manufacturing sectors.

The Rough & Tumble Historical Steam Association is well known for their “Threshermen’s Reunion”, held annually in August.  Considered to be the largest event of its kind east of the Mississippi, it draws visitors from the entire Northeast and mid- Atlantic United States regions. 

This year’s Kutztown Folk Festival runs July 1st thru July 9th, for additional information visit the festival’s website at or call 610.683.1597.