In the sleepy little hamlet of Ionia, Ontario County, the United Methodist Church holds a fall festival on one Saturday in September.
Today’s weather was perfect for the food, arts and crafts, vendors and a hayride up to the astrology observatory. Music, seeing friends and family, along with what has come to be the big highlight of the day – a parade of tractors rounds out a day that triples the towns population just south of Mendon off Route 64.
Mostly vintage with an occasional newer model thrown in for good measure, the streets of Ionia became overloaded with onlookers. For a short time, the only traffic allowed on the main roads were tractors. Just about every manufacturer was represented in some fashion.
What started 17 years ago with maybe 30 tractors has grown to over 150 registered machines. The sides of all the streets were lined with cars and people getting a little taste of nostalgia as most of the two cylinder tractors puttered along.
Men and women, girls and boys (as long as they are 14 or older) wore smiles in the midday sun as they moved the machines along the ground and neighbors waved to each other.
One of the participants said this is one of the largest parades of it’s kind in western NY. It is pleasant to all of one’s senses that enjoys these fine labor saving devices that puts food on our tables. The putter of the engines, the brightly colored paint, the taste of the chicken BBQ, the smell of the gasoline being sipped by carburators. The warm sun on your skin, and the feeling of days gone by as you ponder that the tractor you are gazing at was once the state of the art machine,.
Yes, a step back in time, if only for a few hours. Well worth the trip if you ask me.