Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

Heading for home

Tractorcade leaves Washington on Wednesday
Jun 14, 2018
Photo by: David Hotle On Wednesday, the last of the tractors from the visiting Tractorcade rolled around the Washington County Fairgrounds after returning from Lake Darling.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


The line of tractors had not completed their return trip down Highway 92 to return to the Washington County Fairgrounds from the morning at Lake Darling State Park before the participants in the 2018 Great Eastern Iowa Tractorcade were loading their machines onto flatbed trailers and getting ready to leave.

After three days of riding through Washington County, many of the riders of the 460 tractors that were part of this year’s event stopped by Dallmeyer Hall for the closing banquet that included some awards for the drivers. Most of the people wanted to take the chance to visit with some good friends they would not see again until next year’s Tractorcade.

“It was a great ride,” Marv Holtkamp, of Donnellson, said. “I met up with some old friends and some new friends. The tractors ran great and we will be back next year.”

Holtkamp visited briefly with friends Marvin Moeller, of Hoghton, and Daryl Moore, of Salem, as they got ready to load their tractors for the ride home. “Washington County is a great county,” Moeller said. “We had good law enforcement. They worked great for us. They gave good directions and were good at stopping the traffic and getting us where we needed to go.”

Moore smiled as he said his favorite sights on the ride this year were the large hog houses in the country. “Big ones too.”

At the banquet, handing out surveys to the crowd of people who stopped for lunch before the ride home, organizer Matt Kenney called the trip to Washington County a “resounding success.” He said there had been great feedback from the drivers and great participation from the community. He heard from some first-time Tractorcade riders that they would be back next year. He also said there had been no complaints from law enforcement or from the fair board.

Since Sunday, when the tractors began arriving, the riders visited Keota, Wellman, Kalona, Hills, Riverside, Brighton, Rubio, Richmond, Ollie, Sigourney, Harper, Keota and West Chester. Wednesday’s trip to Lake Darling was the capper of the event.

“Every farm was well kept,” he said. “The rivers, trees and streams were very scenic. They really enjoyed Lake Darling, because many haven’t been to the park. It is an educational process and these guys learn about parts of the state they may have never been to before.”

Having grown up in Washington County, Kinney said that Lake Darling looks much different from he remembers it. He said he had camped out there several times. He said the City of Washington hadn’t changed much, as it has always been known as the cleanest town in Iowa.

While the Tractorcade will have a different location for its home base next year, Kinney said that Washington is on the Tractorcade’s list of counties that may be repeated.

“We have been back to different towns in the past 19 years,” he said. “I can see us coming back to Washington in a few years, easily.”

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