By MARINA WATERS
Last week, a steady trail of tractors could be seen rolling through the gates at the Appalachian Fairgrounds.
Local tractor enthusiasts once again fired up their engines for the annual tractor show, hosted by the Tri-State Antique Power Association. The non-profit organization has been holding the tractor show for 25 years. And it’s all been in the name of agricultural heritage.
“We want people to know what our farming heritage is and how the old machinery works,” Melissa Milner, the public relations contact for the Tri-State Antique Power Association, said. “We want to let people know what tractors used to do and what farm equipment was used for.
“Kids nowadays, a lot of them have never seen a piece of machinery work that was from the turn of the century. So we try to educate people and have a good time at the tractor show too.”
To give the tractor show-goers a taste of what the machinery was used for, the group included more than just John Deere and Farmall tractors; the show also involved antique machinery such as horse-drawn farm equipment, a threshing machine, a corn grinder and a rock crusher.
But the event wasn’t designed just to educate kids and adults on yesteryear’s farm equipment; the tractor show, of course, displayed tractors of old and new throughout the fairgrounds.
Milner said there’s a different theme for each year’s tractor show. This year was all about Allis-Chalmers Tractors.
“We’re hosting the national Allis-Chalmers show; It’s called the ‘Gathering of the Orange,’” Milner said.
“We have people from all over attending this show because it’s the ‘Gathering of the Orange.’”
In addition to the “Gathering of the Orange,” the tractor show also included over 90 vendors who offered everything from arts and crafts to tractor and machine parts. The event also offered a quilt barn and a lawn and garden section for participants to display their lawn mowers and other lawn equipment.
The tractor show also hosted a special guest on Saturday; Brian Baxter, the producer and host of Classic Tractor Fever, which is tractor themed television show, was on site to capture some of the action, which will appear on the RFD-TV network.
All in all, Milner said, the tractor show was aimed to offer a little something to a whole lot of people.
“You can just bring your tractors in. We’ve got people who show you where to park your tractor if you’re a feature tractor or a non-feature tractor,” Milner said.
“Everybody gets to see the tractors and we have almost 100 vendors.
“We have just a wide variety that would appeal to the ladies as well as the gentlemen. So we have a little something for everybody.”