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Old Threshers Reunion returning Sept. 2-6

The Jitney Bus, a steam engine, loudly sounds its horn as it passes through Mt. Pleasant for the Harvest Day Parade. The parade kicked off the 2019 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. (File photo)
The Jitney Bus, a steam engine, loudly sounds its horn as it passes through Mt. Pleasant for the Harvest Day Parade. The parade kicked off the 2019 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. (File photo)

The Midwest Old Threshers Reunion is set to return this year. With COVID-19 cases dropping, people getting vaccinated and having time to prepare for social distancing and safety protocols, the Midwest Old Threshers board of directors are ready to have the reunion again.

“People are ready to get out, they’re ready to start doing things again,” board President Bob Gerdes said. “We’re going to have this reunion, but there will be some changes. There’s going to be a lot more hand sanitizing stations, probably thousands.”

The board of directors aren’t exactly sure what the reunion will look like this year, seeing as things are always changing in regards to COVID, but having the reunion and maintaining safety of the visitors are the top priorities. The board reported that the entertainment lineup for 2021 will be the same as 2020.

“It’s going to be the same, in a way. We’re going to be bigger and better than ever,” Gerdes said.

2020 saw a lot of downfalls, including the cancellation of Mt. Pleasant’s beloved Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. With the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and unpreparedness for the various social distancing and safety protocols, the board of directors and CEO Terry McWilliams made the decision to cancel the 2020 reunion.

“The decision to cancel the reunion was probably the hardest decision the board had ever done,” Gerdes said. “When we did it, we had a lot of discussion and hammering it out, and in hindsight, it was the best thing and the right thing to do.”

Though the community was devastated by the cancellation, the board of directors got plenty of support in its decision.

“We appreciate the support that we got from Mt. Pleasant citizens, the business community, the council, the mayor, and the city administration,” he said. “We had maybe half of a percentage that called and griped about it, but 99.5% of the calls were people saying you know, we hate it but we get it.”

In addition to having the reunion, the Midwest Old Threshers Heritage Museums soon will open to school tours again, The Midwest Old Threshers Reunion will take place Sept. 2-6, 2021.