Have you ever heard of such a thing?
One of my little cousins and my Grandma's John Deere H.
My uncle driving Grandpa's John Deere D
As I wandered around the grounds of this particular show, which hasn't changed much, if at all, in recent decades, I had a sudden feeling that most of the world probably has no idea that "tractor shows" or "steam and gas engine shows" exist.
Hard for me to imagine, as I attended this particular show on the day before I was born, and many of the summers since.
A tractor and engine show comes about when a bunch of people who own tractors and engines load them all up on trailers, truck them over to the prearranged spot, and arrange them in neat displays in a field or fairgrounds.
Then tractor and engine enthusiasts spend a weekend driving each other's tractors around--oftentimes there's quite a bit of buying and selling and trading of one engine or another. At this show, huge steam engines roll steadily around the field periodically. Most people wear the logos of their favorite brand of tractors, and you'll see plenty of cheeky slogans among the different groups, such as "Why farm half when you could FARMALL?" and "If it ain't red, leave it in the shed."
Did you know that brand wars existed between tractor fans? I imagine it's somewhat like fans of different sports teams. My family is a John Deere family, which is why you might notice the preponderance of green and yellow. My Grandma had her 1941 John Deere H at the show and my Grandpa had his 1931 John Deere D, so there were plenty of rides to be had for all of us.
Engines and tractors aren't the only draw, and driving them around and talking about their horsepower isn't the only thing to do--in the opinion of this not-particularly-mechanically interested girl, that's a good thing. There's also a blacksmith at work, and a running sawmill to inspect (am I the only person who instantly thinks of the tragic accident that took place in Lemony Snicket's The Miserable Mill every time I see a sawmill?)
Activities go on throughout the day--there's a tractor parade, and a tractor pull (which involves tractors pulling a huge weight, to see which tractor can pull the heaviest weight the furthest--with the strongest tractor winning.) This year was the first year they had a pedal tractor pull. Angel and I joined in....because how many adventures can you have if you don't join in?
Only three women did the pedal tractor pull, and I placed 3rd...if that tells you anything about my capacity to pedal a tractor while pulling 313 pounds behind me. But still...I got a 3rd place ribbon!
A lot more men did the pull, and Angel placed 4th from last...to be fair, the guys who won it were a good 100 lbs. bigger than Angel and he didn't really stand a chance when it came to brute force.
My favorite part of the show is the model radio control airplane show they have the in evening--it boasts quirky model planes like lawnmowers and flying John Deere tractors and irons...another key feature is excessively corny jokes and explosions. They also have specialty planes, some with real jet engines and helicopters that can do some pretty awesome tricks. They've been doing pretty much exactly the same script since they started the show, but I always think it's fun to watch!
There's the lawnmower, about to take off! And below, you can hopefully make out that it's a plane in the shape of a truck:
Have you ever attended a tractor show and experienced this little piece of culture?