For several years, the Baker Family has been one of the biggest family ensembles in the country, making numerous tours, performing around 100 concerts a year and producing multiple CDs.
At 6 p.m. on Aug. 21, the quartet from Birch Tree, Mo., will be making an appearance at the 44th Annual Montgomery County Old Threshers Show. The band includes Carrie Baker and her children Trustin, Carina and Elijah.
“The Bakers put on a good music show,” Old Threshers President Howard Hollensteiner said. “I’ll bet a lot of people will be coming to see that.”
The Baker Family plays bluegrass, gospel and country music. Four years ago, the band participated in the NBC talent show, “America’s Got Talent.” It also earned many honors, including the 2016 International Country Gospel Music Association Bluegrass Band of the Year award.
“They’ve been going to all of the Old Threshers Shows, fairs and stuff,” said Hollensteiner, who has been president of Old Threshers since the mid-2000s. “I remember when I first became president, their son came to our fiddle contest and he was a little bitty fellow. He won first place in the fiddle contest. They go to Silver Dollar City and put on a show everywhere. They’re really growing and are becoming a big deal.”
There will be plenty of other attractions at the three-day Old Threshers Show, which starts on Aug. 20 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. The event will include steam engines, antique cars and trucks, gas engines, threshing tractor games, flea market, a parade that will start at 6 p.m. on Aug. 20 and a church service. Admission for people 12 years and older is $8 for all three days.
“I expect an extremely large show this year because everybody has been locked down with the COVID thing,” Hollensteiner said. “I think we’re going to be bursting at the seams.”
The Old Threshers Show returns this year after the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year was weird not having it,” said Karen Hollensteiner, one of the organizers.
Howard Hollensteiner said the Old Threshers staff will make sure patrons will stay safe during the three-day event.
“With the COVID thing going on, we ask if everybody respects everybody’s space and everybody uses their common sense,” the president said. “We’re going to have some extra hand washing stations out there. We’re going to try to do our best. We’ve got some disinfectant stuff to spray out there to help with the COVID thing.”
After making its debut in 1977, the Old Threshers Show quickly became one of the biggest events in Montgomery County. The event attracts more than 3,000 people a year and has been held at the fairgrounds every August.
“One time, someone said we were the third biggest (Old Threshers Show) in the state,” Karen Hollensteiner said. “Boonville was ahead of us and I’m not sure who the other one was.”
There will be five new events at the Old Threshers Show. One of them is a Dutch Oven cooking contest, which is run by Pat Korman and is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Aug. 21.
“We were talking about things and she had some questions,” Howard Hollensteiner said. “I said why don’t we do a Dutch Oven cooking contest. She thought about it and thought it was a good idea.”
Other new events include a photo contest, a prize bingo, steam engine games and an ax throwing contest. In the photo contest, patrons can bring in pictures from past shows.
The Old Threshers Show also will have the Parade of Power — which is a parade of tractors — at 2 p.m. each day at the grandstands.
“When you sign up, you fill out a little recipe card that tells what year your piece of machinery is and a little history on it,” Howard said. “They’ll go through the parade and we read that card about their history. They do that everyday. Mostly on Saturdays, we kind of honor our dead members at the parade for a little bit. Sometimes it’s a pretty good lengthy parade.”