WHS 2016 Tractor Day 1






By Doug Schroder


WINNEBAGO – As the tradition goes, Tractor Day took place again this year on the day before Spring Break. Last Thursday, March 24, started out as a raw, cold and rainy morning when students started assembling with their tractors just south of town at DeLong’s Granary on Alworth Road at 6:15 a.m. Following a brief meet and greet with some pictures being taken, 13 tractors lined up behind a police escort leading the way, and proceeded towards the school.

It was mostly newer tractors this year, all of them with cabs and a heater, which came in handy due to the cold. In years past a few antique tractors with no cabs would be thrown into the mix, but no one really wanted to brave the weather. I can’t blame them.

Vice-Principal Dan Lemke, who was in charge of coordinating the whole affair, got into the spirit by donning his bib overalls, commemorative Tractor Day hoody, and work boots. Unlike last year where Mr. Lemke was able to drive a tractor from Mitchell Farms, he was not able to procure a ride for this year.

While some other schools in the area have a Tractor Day, none have gone on as long, or are as popular as the WHS Tractor Day. The commemorative shirts this year stated this was the 41st year for the event as it started in 1976. Last year, a posted video of the parade on Win-Du-Pec’s Facebook page garnered a reach of over 18,000 with 7,411 views, 136 shares, and a total of a little over 1,000 likes, proving the popularity of the event. Many past participants of the parade are happy to see the event still takes place.

After arriving at the high school, students as well as others (myself included) enjoyed a Farmer’s Breakfast at WHS from 7 – 7:45 a.m. The breakfast included scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, hash brown potatoes, sausage links, fruit, milk, juice and coffee. Turnout for the breakfast was a little lower this year, more than likely due to the weather conditions.

Students who drove a tractor that day were already set to be dismissed at 2:20 p.m., which just missed the brunt of the snow storm that came a little later. Spring in Illinois, where you can experience any of the four seasons in one day!

While Winnebago has grown and changed over the years, it’s good to see this tradition from the agricultural roots of the community continues on.

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