Tractorcade planned for Farm Bureau anniversary

CHAMPAIGN — Don't be surprised if you see a long line of tractors in Champaign on Saturday.

About two dozen tractors — dating from 1939 to 1980 — are expected to take part in a tractor drive marking the Champaign County Farm Bureau's 100th anniversary.

At 10 a.m., the tractors will leave United Prairie's Apex location a half-mile west of Tolono and travel north to Curtis Orchard, where the Farm Bureau's family picnic will be going on.

The tractors will park there, and the public is welcome to come take a closer look at the vintage vehicles, said Jim Esworthy, an anniversary committee member.

Then at 1 p.m., the tractors will continue north on Duncan Road to Kirby Avenue, head east on Kirby Avenue to Neil Street, and continue south on U.S. 45 to Tolono.

Originally, the Farm Bureau hoped to involve 100 tractors in the drive, but festivals going on in Urbana, Mahomet and Royal this weekend — as well as several weddings in the farming community — cut into the numbers.

The oldest tractors expected to be in the parade are a 1939 Farmall F-20 and a 1940 Farmall B, Esworthy said.

Other tractors registered to participate include vehicles from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. In addition to other Farmalls, folks can expect to see models from Allis-Chalmers, John Deere, Oliver and a Ford Golden Jubilee.

Esworthy said the tractor drive will have police escorts, and tractors will remain in the right lanes and make only right turns in order to minimize any disruptions to traffic.

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