Farm show exceeds expectations

RANTOUL — Show Chairman Darius Harms said this year's Half Century of Progress farm show was the largest ever.

Figures released this week backed up his statements.

Harms said the show saw a 14 percent increase at the gate and a 29 percent increase in the amount of machinery brought to the show compared with two years ago.

Total attendance figures were not yet available, but he said they exceeded his estimate of 100,000 people prior to the show.

"The police department thought there were 55,000 just on Friday," Harms said.

"It was absolutely fantastic," he said. "It surpassed the other ones."

The show celebrates farming of an earlier era with field demonstrations and other attractions.

The show went on with few problems, he said.

"People were kind and never had anything but praise for everything that was going on," the show chairman said. "Everybody said, 'We'll be back in two years.' Makes you feel good when you get that many people together and everything goes good."

Harms said the machinery brought to the show was "unbelievable."

He said people brought equipment from Texas, Colorado, Maryland, Tennessee and Alabama, among other states.

Harms said the weather was a big factor in the large attendance.

"The good Lord, No. 1, he took care of us," Harms said.

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