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Antique tractor show begins Friday

For a decade, the people of Ironton have seen plows and other farm equipment head into town for the annual antique engine and tractor show.

Organizers Lee Nance and Don Mootz will continue the tradition with likeminded collectors on Friday and Saturday on the grassy area in front of the Ironton Hills Plaza at the intersection of U.S. 52 and State Route 93.

Mootz estimates that last year the event drew 75-100 exhibitors and about 500 people from all over the Tri-State showed up to see the old farm equipment.

“I think the draw is that it is a friendly atmosphere,” he said. “We have special events for all the exhibitors and I guess our reputation brings the people back to watch and see what we have this year.”

Most equipment dates from when farming equipment shifted from being drawn by horses to being steam or gas powered.

Mootz, a member of the Greenup Tractor Club, will be bringing two full-size tractors, a custom-built miniature tractor and a hay bailer he helped build.

Other exhibits range from tractors, plows and old, all-purpose hit and miss

engines that were used to power anything around the farm from water wells to mills.

The lifelong Lawrence County resident said his interest in the farm equipment comes from the age of it.

“I remember a lot of it in operation when I was a boy,” he said. He owns a tractor that is just three years older than him. “There is just something about restoring a piece of equipment. Having it restored and in operation again is quite satisfying.”

He also enjoys the social aspect of the event.

Events on Saturday include a pedal tractor pull at 10 a.m. that is open to all kids, the parade of power at 1 p.m., determining the oldest tractor that still runs and a race to see which tractor can go the slowest speed and still keep running.

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship said the event is a great draw.

“When you have old tractors coming and there are people who have lived their entire lives in town, a lot want to see what farmers do,” he said. “It’s just a short hop to see different exhibits and learn a little about rural life.”

For more information call Lee Nance at (740) 533-1925 or Mootz at (740) 532-4974.