Twilight tractor drive added to Historic Farm Days in Penfield

Twilight tractor drive added to Historic Farm Days in Penfield

PENFIELD — A twilight tractor drive in the rural areas north of Penfield is a new attraction at this year's Historic Farm Days, which opens Thursday and runs through Sunday in Penfield.

The tractor drive will depart the grounds of the I&I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club at 6 p.m. and return prior to nightfall.

I&I official John Fredrickson said the tractor drive is a popular attraction at the biennial Half Century of Progress Show in Rantoul, which is also sponsored by the club.

"One of the members suggested it," Fredrickson said. "We really don't have any entertainment on Thursday night. We thought it would be a fun idea. With our tractor drive in Rantoul, the majority of us members are so busy we don't have a chance to participate in the tractor drive."

This year's show will feature Oliver, Hart Parr, White and Cockshutt farm-equipment lines.

An Oliver 1950T tractor will be raffled.

"All antique tractors and vehicles are welcome" for display, Fredrickson said.

Daily activities will include corn crib filling and shelling, thrashing, saw-mill demonstrations, plus potato digging and wheat harvesting, weather permitting.

There will be a tractor parade in front of the grandstand and demonstrations in the blacksmith shop daily.

The church on the I&I grounds will be open. Fredrickson said he hopes that the old country school that was moved a couple of years ago from a site north of Rantoul to the I&I grounds will also be open.

"That's a continuing project," Fredrickson said. "There have been several people working on that recently."

There will also be a lawn and garden tractor display and a truck display.

On Friday, Marvin Lee and the Logan Kirby country music show will be held on the stage at 6 p.m. Wes Wheeler and the Battle Creek Band take the stage at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Saturday night features include an ITPA-sanctioned tractor pull followed by fireworks and a steam-engine sparks show.

The Marvin Lee church service will be held Sunday morning at the former Penfield United Methodist Church, which is also located on the show grounds.

"We're just praying for some cool weather," Fredrickson said. Former I&I leader Darius Harms "always said he didn't mind a little rain during the show because that was helping the corn crop."

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