“If it has wheels on it, you’re likely to find it here,” he said.
While Chesnut said the culture is unique and many of the participants have made the event a part of their lives all 35 years, they still hope to grow the hobby to the next generations.
“Everybody knows each other,” he said of the culture. “We have children that become friends, and we make lifelong friends. One thing we’re trying new is to hold seminars for some of the younger guys, like teaching them how to build sceneries.”
He said the intricate toys often take hours to make individually, and he doesn’t know where the future of the hobby lies, only that it will continue to grow.
“It always goes toward the age of the collector,” he said. “It used to be that they’d collect the old tractors, but as new collectors come along, they want the newest kind of toys too. I can’t tell what’s going to happen down the road, but it’ll change as the age of the collector changes.”
For more information on the Lafayette Farm Toy Show, visit the website at lafayettefarmtoyshow.com.