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Heritage Tractor Adventure 2012 Survives Heat

Tractors lining up at the Grundy County Fairgrounds, Morris

Tractors lining up at the Grundy County Fairgrounds, Morris

Hot weather this past weekend did not stop 175 vintage tractors from driving over 175 miles through the towns of Morris, Seneca, Yorkville, Gardner, Carbon Hill and Marseilles during the 11th Annual Heritage Tractor Adventure on June 8 – 11. Drivers from as far away as Arizona and Florida came to this annual event as it has become a "homecoming" to many of the riders.

Thanks to a nice breeze, participants were able to enjoy some beautiful scenery as they made their way to various locations for food, entertainment and storytelling. The first leg of their adventure began on Friday, June 8 when after registering at the Grundy County Fairgrounds in Morris, host city, they took off for the Helland Farm in Seneca. There they were treated to a pork chop dinner furnished by the Seneca FFA. During dinner the audience was treated to Ben Rinni, a versatile singer, who would change from Elvis Presley to Dean Martin in an instant. Helicopter rides were given to anyone daring enough to take the challenge.

After breakfast on the Farm the tractors headed to Silver Springs Park in Yorkville for a relaxing lunch served around a tree-lined park complete with lake. An added treat…ice cream was provided and cooled everyone off for the drive back to the Grundy County Fairground for dinner and a stage performance by Cal Klokkert who does a great impersonation of Johnny Cash, after which Max Armstrong took the stage and delighted the audience with his quick wit and heartwarming stories.

On Sunday the tractor drivers got their kicks on Route 66 when they lunched in downtown Gardner. Max Armstrong found himself in the iconic two-cell jail, where over $600 was raised to bail him out and was donated to the Gardner food pantry. A quick break at Carbon Hill Park for cookies and lemonade was enjoyed before they headed back to the Fairgrounds for dinner and an early evening.

Monday began with the National Anthem, sung by Don Phillips of Gardner. The tractors then took off for the final event of the ride, the closing ceremony/lunch held at the Marseilles Lions Club. They were served a fitting feast as awards were presented in various categories. A shuttle was also available to transport drivers to the MiddleEast Conflict Memorial Wall and Museum at the IV Cellular Complex.

The Heritage Corridor CVB would like to thank the sponsors of this annual event: City of Morris, LaSalle County, Heritage Iron Magazine, Illinois Farm Bureau, and GROWMARK for making this ride a true adventure!

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