Antique tractors, toy tractors, feats of tractor strength, a tractor parade — if it has to do with tractors, it’s in the spotlight this weekend at Encampment’s annual Copper Days Festival.
The festival, celebrating its 25th year on Saturday and Sunday, is a salute to rural living, especially the role tractors play in agriculture in the Platte Valley, said Stacy Crimmins, CEO for the Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s definitely dedicated to rural and ranch living,” she said. “It’s kind of a way for us to celebrate the agricultural heritage of the Platte Valley.”
The focus on tractors is usually something associated more with states, Crimmins said.
“This is definitely unique for this part of the country,” she said. “You don’t have to travel halfway across the nation to see these things.”
The part of the two-day celebration dedicated to tractors is organized by Encampment’s Chug ’N Tug Tractor Club, while the Platte Valley Arts Council sponsors other events such as a performance by polka band “The River Boys” and a kids’ art workshop. The chamber of commerce handles marketing and promotion for the event, Crimmins said.
Events begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with a tractor parade through Encampment.At 11 a.m. Saturday, the action will move to the Encampment-Riverside Lions Club Arena, where competitors will take part in a tractor pull. There, tractors are hitched to trailers carrying weights. As the tractors move forward, the weights move closer to the front of the trailer, increasing the amount of power needed to move the trailer.
The kids’ art workshop will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, as will the toy tractor display.
“We’re trying to keep the enthusiasm for tractors up with the younger generations,” Crimmins said of the toy tractor display. “We’re just trying to make sure there’s an outlet for those who are a little younger to enjoy tractors.”
The community dance at the Grand Encampment Opera House is the only event of the weekend with an entry fee — $15 for adults, which includes a light dinner. The dance runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday.“
A lot of the more experienced dancers are very willing to give lessons and help people remember the steps or even help the younger people get a gist of the steps,” Crimmins said.
A second tractor pull will be held Sunday at 10:30 a.m.For more information on Copper Days, visit the Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce’s website or see the chamber’s Facebook page.