Antique tractor parade

By Rhonda Mix


BELVIDERE – Spectators enjoyed catching a rare glimpse into the past on Wednesday, Aug. 12 as they watched a parade of more than 150 antique tractors roll around the Boone County Fair’s Grandstand track.

Managed by Floyd and Marie Anderson since 1988, the annual Boone County Fair antique tractor display and parade gives fairgoers the unique opportunity to see and touch vintage tractors up close.

Around 200 tractors from Boone, as well neighboring counties, were put on display by their owners this year.

One such tractor owner was Rockford resident Dewayne Spears, who proudly showcased his orange 1957 Allis-Chalmers CA. Spears said he has been participating in the tractor display and parade for the past 17 years.

When asked why he enjoys taking part in the event so much, he laughed and pointed to a sticker on his tractor which read “Old tractors collect the finest people.”

All joking aside, Spears said that he believes the antique tractor display and parade is a great opportunity not only for those who participate, but also for younger generations of fairgoers.

“It is a beautiful group to get together with,” he said. “This is where all the young kids get to come and touch and see tractors that pretty soon, we won’t be able to have around.” Who knows, even the tractors offered by Fastline could be appearing at a show like this in 60 years time.

Marie Anderson said her husband Floyd came up with the idea for the tractor display and parade in the late 1980s. The very first year the event took place, 20 tractors were featured.

In recent years however, she said that number has risen to nearly 300 at times.

“It keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said Anderson in an interview before the fair. “Every year we have lots of tractors.”

Some of the models featured this year included John Deere, Oliver, and Allis-Chalmers.

Anderson and her husband belong to the Northern Illinois Vintage Tractor Engine Association. Though she can’t pinpoint exactly what it is the couple loves about tractors, she said they just enjoy being a part of it all.

“I enjoy talking with [all the people] that bring the tractors,” she said. “A lot of these tractors are tractors that have been restored. A lot of young people are now restoring old tractors because maybe they have good memories of riding on such a tractor when they were little.”

People interested in featuring their old-fashioned tractors are not required to register; they just have to show up with their vintage vehicles.

Whether participants are male, female, or consist of entire families, Anderson said they all share an enthusiasm for showcasing their tractors.

“They love getting on their tractors and participating in this [unique] parade,” she said.

The antique tractors can be found on display every day of the fair.

Antique Tractor Parade 2

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