22 July 2014

A Summer Tradition

This past weekend we went to a Steam and Gas Engine/Tractor Show.

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 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?


  1. Awesome! The Hubs was an Agriculture major in college... so yeah, I've been to my share of tractor days! So funny!

  2. is that a flying lawn mower? And I thought I lived in the south. This is amazing :)

  3. My husband would love the idea of the lawn mowing itself : )


  4. 3rd place! That's awesome! I've never been to anything like this. I'd definitely check one out though.

  5. Haha, that sounds like fun! I've never heard of one, or been to one...but I'd bet Oklahoma has some somewhere in the state...maybe somewhere close to our agriculture college. Looks like fun driving the different tractors!

  6. I love the saying, "how many adventures do you have if you don't join in?" So true! What a fun show.

  7. i didn't know about tractor shows until i met jon's family, but now we go every summer - it's fun to test them out and i *still* get excited when i get to ride along :)

  8. Haha I have never heard of a tractor show until now, but you've actually convinced me that it would be a fun time!

  9. ...but are there delicious things to eat whilst admiring farm equipment? THAT is the real question.

  10. I have never heard of a tractor show, very different. I have heard of all kinds of transportation shows. Have a good Tuesday!

  11. I have never heard of that before! It sounds fun! We go to the Missouri State Fair every year and that have a smaller version of this.. it is so fun!

  12. The little village over, Port Hope, holds an annual tractor pull. They also have a bean soup day, where they sell the soup and homemade donuts for a dime! My dad loved Internationals and was very faithful to that brand, but his last tractor was a Massey-Harris because he found a cheap one.

  13. I had no idea what a tractor pull was. What a great family day! I didn't think of the Unfortunate Events series actually. I always think of that movie with Reese Witherspoon "The Man on the Moon". It terrible, so don't bother, but there is a terrible tractor accident in it. Anyway, looks like you and Angel had a MUCH better handle on things than I could ever imagine having myself!

  14. Looks fun! (And the tractor pull part looks tough! Doubt that I would do any better...) My grandparents had a tractor ride stop at their place once...and they're John Deere fans/collectors too (no wonder I like your blog so much ;) ). As Grandpa's t-shirt says, "Friends don't let friends drive red tractors!"

  15. You def gotta just jump in and create life adventures, they won't create themselves! I love this, how fun and unique!

  16. You are probably the last person I would've guessed to enjoy a tractor show. lol