By Caroline Wigmore
Owners of antique tractors (not just Olivers, as printed in the paper) will assemble for a 35-mile trek over an unofficial parade route during a tractor ride Saturday, Sept. 6. For a map of the route, click here.
Residents will be in for this visual treat courtesy of the Northland Oliver Collectors Association. The tractor participants will start at the Wright County Fairgrounds, then go around the lake, east to Waverly, turning south to Winsted, and then swing back up to the fairgrounds again.
How the event got started was when organizer Jim Crouch of Waverly, who likes to restore antique tractors, noticed that Iowa had several tractor rides, while Minnesota had none.
Crouch thought that this was a shame because there are so many tractor owners in the area.
He started the annual tractor ride and has been running it since it began and it has been a big success. The ride not only appeals to locals, but also draws people from all over the state and beyond. Participants come from as far as Wisconsin and Duluth.
The route is approximately 35 miles long, beginning at the Wright County Fairgrounds in Howard Lake, with tractors gathering at 8 a.m. sharp. The tractors will leave the fairgrounds at 9 a.m. and will make stops throughout the day at county parks. Food will be provided.
Each participant will receive a free gift, many of which were donated by local businesses. There will also be a large drawing to be conducted at the end of the ride.
Crouch believes that the best part about the tractor ride is taking the time to enjoy the scenery and visit with the participants.
“When you’re driving 10 miles an hour you can enjoy driving through the countryside,” said Crouch.
“All sorts of people participate in the tractor ride, from retired farmers, to business people,” he said.
A leisurely, scenic ride, meeting people and “talking tractors” is what participants have to look forward to.
Looking for more tractors
Anyone who owns an antique tractor can take part in the ride.
The entry cost is $25 per tractor. The ride will be limited to the first 100 tractors registered.
All tractors are required to post a “slow moving” sign on their tractor. There will be two speed groups, one which will run at 10-15 mph and the second which will run at 16-20 mph. The tractor ride will carry on, rain or shine.
For more information, call Jim Crouch at (612) 232-1876.