The Hippo


May 28, 2020








The Classic Tractor Expo used to feature only John Deere tractors, but this year will be the first that has all kinds of makes, models and colors. Courtesy photo.

Classic Tractor Expo

When: Friday, Aug. 26, through Sunday, Aug. 28
Where: Hillsborough County 4-H Youth Center, Route 13 and Hilldale Lane, New Boston
Cost: $5 general admission; free for kids under 12

Farmer flashbacks
Tractor Expo offers antiques on display, demos and games

By Matt Ingersoll

 Learn about the evolution of tractors and farming at this year’s Classic Tractor Expo in New Boston, featuring three days of special events at the Hillsborough County 4-H Youth Center. Now in its seventh year, the expo is hosted by the Northeast Two-Cylinder Tractor Club and will offer tractor demonstrations and parades, an antique tractor display, raffles and auctions, kids’ games and more. It will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, and Saturday, Aug. 27, and from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28.

The last expo in 2014 saw about 800 visitors throughout the weekend and was also the first year it expanded beyond just John Deere tractors.
The club started 26 years ago when John Deere tractor enthusiasts wanted a venue where they could get together to restore old tractors, according to expo organizer Ginny Bowden. 
“The first expo they had was in 2005, and it was started by a gentleman by the name of Tom Miller, who is a member of the club,” Bowden said. “He got some of the club members together to come up with what was then called the John Deere Tractor Expo.”
A second expo was held the following year after the first one drew a lot of interest from the town and its surrounding communities, but Bowden said the event has since been held every two years when club members realized the magnitude of time and effort it takes to put into its planning.
“The event just started to grow overtime until we had tractors coming in from Florida, from Canada and from all over the place,” Bowden said. “This year will be the first year we’ll have tractors coming in all kinds of colors.”
Club members and tractor owners will be on hand for live demonstrations to show how they were actually used by farmers from back in the day, a feature Bowden said has often been a crowd favorite.
“There will also be seminars about things like how to dismount a tire, how to restore a tractor, and things like that,” she said. “The seminars are usually different every year.”
Tractor games and pulling activities for kids are also planned throughout the weekend, including at a kids’ “fun spot,” where there will be everything from a small petting zoo to a sand pile complete with toy tractors, trucks, buckets and shovels.
“One of the other things that’s been a big hit, especially with the younger kids, is a tractor parade every day,” Bowden said. “The parade just goes all the way around the outside of the grounds, and the announcer talks about the different kinds of tractors and where they came from.”
As another fun way for the youngsters to get involved in the festivities, Bowden said the expo will also have a kids’ pedal tractor pulling race.
A chicken barbecue is planned for noon on Saturday, and plenty of additional food options will be available from several vendors that will be at the expo each of the three days.
“There are enough live demos and games and other things going on that it’s sort of an educational trip too, and that’s probably what’s most important,” Bowden said. “For anyone who might not give it much thought as to where their bread or their milk comes from, it’s interesting to learn about how and where the farmers use the tractors.”
The club is a nonprofit and has four meetings and several other tractor-themed fundraisers and events throughout the year. All proceeds from the expo are split to benefit the Hillsborough County Youth Center, the planning of the next expo and the promotion of the annual Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair during Columbus Day weekend.  

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