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Published June 17, 2011, 12:00 AM

Toy fans set for gathering

1,000 expected to attend event in LaMoure
LaMoure, N.D. - To serious collectors, the North Dakota Farm Toy Show is anything but child’s play.

LaMoure, N.D. - To serious collectors, the North Dakota Farm Toy Show is anything but child’s play.

The 26th annual event, held here Saturday and Sunday, has become Mecca for men (and some women) who wish to sell, admire and acquire meticulously tooled miniature machinery.

About 1,000 people walk through the LaMoure school gymnasium each year to pick up miniature replicas of farm machinery just like their parents operated or to check out toys not typically seen in this area, like cotton machines.

“It’s as strong as ever,” says Lori Aberle, show manager.

The event will feature 40 to 50 exhibitors from the Upper Midwest, as well as some sellers who live farther away but have folded the show into their summer vacation itinerary.

“A lot of them are going to stop here on their way to the Badlands and then they’re off to play,” Aberle says.

Saturday activities will include a pedal-tractor pull for kids at 1 p.m., a chicken barbecue sponsored by the LaMoure Lions at 5 p.m. in Sunset Park and a toy auction at 6:30 p.m. in the LaMoure Civic Center.

Auction items can bring surprisingly good bids, with some pieces going for several thousand dollars, Aberle says. Antique hunters will also find items like very old, cast-iron arcade pieces.

The LaMoure Show is one of three shows run by Toy Farmer, the farm toy magazine founded by Cathy Scheibe and her late husband, Claire. Two other, larger shows are held in Indianapolis and Dyersville, Iowa.

Still, the North Dakota show has a small-town, friendly vibe that makes it enjoyable for all, Aberle says.

“A lot of these guys come every year so they know each other,” she says. “They’re always in good moods. If you’ve got time, they’ll talk. It’s a good group.”

If you go

  • What: North Dakota Farm Toy Show, Auction & Craft Show

  • When: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

  • Where: LaMoure (N.D.) School gymnasium

  • Info: $5 per day; free for children 12 and under. For show details, call (800) 533-8293 or go to

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525