Proceeds from the event support the Paso Robles Pioneer Day celebrations
NORTH COUNTY — American history and equipment enthusiasts came out in full force to Santa Margarita this Memorial weekend for the Best of the West Antique Equipment Show. Proceeds from the event support the Paso Robles Annual Pioneer Day celebrations.
The Best of the West show made its comeback this last weekend after pressing pause for two years due to the pandemic.
Starting Friday, May 27, through Sunday, May 29, guests explored equipment that helped build America into the country it is today. But, more importantly, the weekend was dedicated to remembering and honoring veterans who have given their lives for our freedom.
The Best of the West Antique Equipment Show is a Paso Robles Pioneer Day Committee and Rossi Foundation event. Santa Margarita Ranch poses as the perfect location to enjoy a family gathering outside and teach the younger generations about the heritage of our area.
For two years, the show had to cancel its celebrations to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. This year the show returned to normal — getting back into the swing of things as they plan for a bigger and better show in 2023.
The first show made its debut in 2010. Since it was so well received, it came back in 2015 as an annual event.
Many fan-favorite activities returned to the ranch, including the Farm Bureau’s tri-tip dinners and other food vendors, parades, the Kid’s Corral, and tours hosted by the Santa Margarita Historical Society.
At noon each day, all operations paused for a military salute and flyover.
Prior to starting the salute, one gentleman announced, “This is not the start of summer. This is to honor all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could all assemble and have the freedoms we have.”
Throughout the day, guests enjoyed a tractor parade, earthmoving demo, plowing demo, blacksmithing, and so much more. A favorite crowd activity is always taking a ride on the train. The steam engine holds plenty of history itself. It was featured in the TV show “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and was one of the passenger coaches from Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad in the 1950s.
Of course, the crown jewel of the show is the wide variety of working antique equipment. Locals from around the county and even folks from across the nation bring equipment and tractors from various decades. It ends up creating a timeline of the mechanized progress of 20th-century America. This year the show booked more exhibitors ready to showcase their piece of American history.
The Best of the West Antique Equipment Show committee is looking forward to creating a bigger and better show next year. Until then, you can get your antique equipment fix again at the Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade on Saturday, Oct. 8.