The 25th Annual International Windmillers Trade Fair was held in El Dorado, KS on June 4-6, 2013.
The event was open to the public to view, learn and participate in all things related to water-pumping windmills.
Please stay tuned for updates about when the Windmillers will be blowing our way next.
Folks travel from all over the United States and beyond to attend this trade fair. "The history and people behind these water pumping structures are almost as iconic as the windmill itself. Windmillers, dealers, restorers, collectors and enthusiasts [come] from across the country," Shelby Haag/Midwest Producer.
In explaining the trade fair Chuck Jones, 2013 lead organizer says, "some bring their junk iron to sell, some come to buy the junk iron. Others come to see all the diffferent kinds of windmills and to learn more about them."
More from Shelby Haag/Midwest Producer:
It's no secret that Kansas has plenty of windmills to showcase. Guests will have the opportunity to experience first hand the antique windmill restoration process through a visit to Joe and Donna Harper's farm near Sedgwick, Kan. Joe began restoring his first windmill in the early 1980s. Since then his collection has flourished to reach over 40, about half of which are restored and displayed on the farm. "There's just something about windmills that fascinates me," he said. "A lot goes into the restoration process. They are usually a broken pile of junk at first and piece by piece it comes together."
Joe's wife, Donna, has seen firsthand the dedication that goes into restoring a windmill. "Joe's meticulous about every detail, right down to the perfect shade of color to be historically accurate," she said. "It takes time to find the missing parts or in some cases make the part himself. It's a tedious process but the end result is worth it. They're just beautiful."
The Harpers' windmill collection includes a multitude of brands and models, several of which are very rare. "You never know what you're going to find," Joe said. "Every windmill has its own story, and we're excited to have the International Windmillers coming out to see our collection."
The 2013 trade fair committee took a return trip to the Harper farm - a must do for anyone who loves windmills!