The business men of Skidmore may not have known it at the time, but their meeting on September 28, 1899 and their decision to hold a “Punkin Show” to celebrate the farmers “who, in a great measure, make the town,” started a grand tradition that brought thousands of people (and thousands of pounds of produce, no doubt) to the town over many years.
From the September 29, 1899 Skidmore Standard, page 1:
A Punkin Show.
In Skidmore, October 11th, 1899.
Everybody Will Come, See The Big Show And Have A Good Time.
At the suggestion of the “punkin editor” the business men of Skidmore met in Linville’s Hall, yesterday afternoon, and made arrangements to have a punkin show in town, Wednesday, October 11.
Mr. Linville generously tendered the use of his hall for the occasion so there is where the Punkin Show will be held.
The farmers are the people who, in a great measure, make the town. Their surplus products are consumed by the town dwellers and their money keeps the merchants in business. Realizing these facts, the business men of Skidmore wish to show their appreciation by making things pleasant for the farmer and family when they come to town, and when possible, prepare special entertainments for their benefit. This Punkin Show will be one of the specialties.
The merchants have donated liberally, and prizes will be given on all farm products. Norman J. Colman, editor of the Rural World, will be present. Let every one come and compete for the prizes.