Sunday, June 14, 2009

#5 Salisbury Steak Festival - Salisbury, MO - June 13, 2009

#5 Salisbury Steak Festival - Salisbury, MO - June 13th, 2009

Who doesn't like a good ole Tractor Pull? I'll be honest I didn't know much about a tractor pull until I spoke with a one-armed man who gave me the low down. If you click on the picture you might be able to see the "White Mule" on the sled, which is a weight that automatically rises along the sled as the pull moves on. Eventually the weight slides so far up that it pushes the sled into the ground, and beats even the best John Deere, Farmall, or Massey (yes they are all tractor brands). The winner dragged the sled clear on out of the pit.

The Salisbury Steak Supper. As you can see, the line was around the block. The plus: You get a salisbury steak, baked potato, cole slaw, iced tea, and even a roll served by the mayor himself all for just $5. The minus: It was a little better than the TV dinners I've had, but was tasty for essentially being a slice of meatloaf with mushroom gravy.

The town of Salisbury is a progressive city, as evidenced by them presenting a Little Mr. Salisbury as well. Now I've noticed that being 6-2 and brown brings a lot of looks, and people know I'm from out of town. I just don't think that Nate joining me on this festival in a matching powder blue shirt really decreased the points and stares.

Video of the Week. This is awesome. Welcome everyone to the Matt Barber Experience. I don't know why he was hired for a festival, but I would like to shake the person's hand who did. I don't know if you can make out the little light show projector he has on stage since there was nothing to project on and it was sunny. Apparently he is on an "international" tour so we were lucky to have caught him. Do yourself a favor and check out the Matt Barber Experience online.

This ended up being an extremely solid festival, and a special thanks to Joyce for suggesting it. I wasn't sure salisbury (pronounced Sauls-bury) steak would be worth a 3 hour drive, but I made a commitment and I stood by it. It was even better having some company for this festival, as Nate ventured out to this festival (although he had the KC Strip instead of the Salisbury Steak). I'm not sure what's wrong with that kid. We arrived into Salisbury just as the local members of the chamber were giving speeches. The mayor introduced his predecessor, an 81 one year old firecracker, who proceeded to delay the parade in order to sing a very emotional version of "God Bless America". I have video but thought it was inappropriate for this forum, maybe I'll post it in an outtakes post on an off week. The parade was extremely organized, no long gaps, and was completely assembled and ready to go the second the Mayor cut the ribbon. This, by the way, is quite rare when it comes to parades. The parade included a Little Mr. for the first time that I've seen, antique cars, and a very long line of antique tractors.

We quickly made our way to the fair where there were 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, horseshoe contests, and even people selling locally raised beef. We decided the tractor pull was the best bet. I learned that acceleration control is pivotal to a good pull, and apparently you can't go too fast or you will be disqualified. The better pullers also utilized some body control and adjusted their weight in order to add more torque to the rear tires for traction. All these years, and I didn't even know how hard it was to pull weight with a tractor.

Ahh the Steak. As I mentioned the steak wasn't a life changing experience, but as I'm learning the food is mostly second fiddle to the people you meet at these festivals. We talked to an older couple during supper where she explained some Salisbury history. She told us a man named Lucius Salisbury had founded the city in 1867. I asked whether the steak was named after the person because he created it, or the town because that is where it was first-made. I don't think she understood the question because she responded. "My kids asked me why they called the 5k run in the morning the stampede". She laughed and said, "Cattle, cows, stampede!". I still don't get it. According to the in-ter-net Dr. James Salisbury studied diet and nutrition and advised people to eat beef chased by cups of hot water. He came up with the original chopped beef version in the late 19th century. It became popular when US soldiers in WWI didn't want to use the Germanic rooted "hamburger" (salisbury steak is a glorified burger). So this one's up in the air.

The Matt Barber experience was something else. We saw a keyboard being set up, we saw the light being set up, and we were still unprepared for the dreamy whirlwind of Matt Barber. I was expecting your standard cover band, maybe even some Southern Rock. What I was not expecting was a version of the Wedding Singer Dan Band at the Salisbury Steak Festival.

It was a great trip, and even better having some company.
I also wanted to make mention that the Semco plant laid off 25 people on Friday (a significant amount in a town of 1,700), but the city of Salisbury still put on one great festival. Salisbury Steak Festival was a great time, even though I didn't get to ride a tractor. These festivals remind me of simpler times in my life, and as the ex-mayor says, "Don't forget to look up every now and then at Ol' Glory".

(EDIT: This may be the most appropriate place to showcase a crochet sad salisbury steak, it is funny and beautiful).


  1. Thanks for sharing another humorous and detailed post! And more importantly for introducing me to Matt Barber. I see his world tour extended all the way to Paducah, KY.

  2. Probably a little too detailed. I'm sure Matt Barber will be playing at a senior center near you soon.

  3. You didn't hoop it up? This sounds like a festival you needed to take me too...