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It’s all about tractors at Encampment’s Copper Days Festival

in Travel
Tractors Saratoga
Tractors on display at last year’s Copper Days Festival in Encampment. The annual festival, to be held this weekend features tractor parades, tractor pulling contests, antique tractors and even toy tractor displays. (Photo courtesy of the Saratoga-Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce)

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.

Shoshoni’s Antique Tractor and Engine Show puts tractors in the spotlight

in Travel
Shoshoni’s Antique Tractor and Engine Show
The Wind River Flywheelers’ steam-driven tractor will be on display this weekend at the organization’s 24th annual Antique Tractor and Engine Show in Shoshoni. The event features tractor parades and “tractor pulls,” along with live entertainment, vendors and pedal-driven tractors for children to play on. (Photo courtesy of the Wind River Flywheelers.)

By Cowboy State Daily

A celebration the makes old tractors the stars of the show is one of the top draws this weekend in Shoshoni, Wyoming.

The Don Layton Memorial Antique Tractor and Engine Show, featuring displays, parades and contests among antique tractors dating back to the creation of the internal combustion engine will be held Saturday and Sunday in Shoshoni.

Some 30 tractors of varying makes, models and ages are expected to be on hand for the event staged by the Wind River Flywheelers, said organization secretary Carlta Witthar.

The event, now in its 24th year, will even feature a steam-driven tractor which is tended to by Witthar’s husband Dave, a licensed steam engineer.

“My husband has two (John Deere tractors), but he is also the only licensed steam engineer,” she said. “So he can’t play with the green tractors because he’s got the steam engines working.”

The event is named after one of the founders of the Wind River Flywheelers, an organization made up of people who enjoy restoring, running and displaying antique tractors.

Layton and the early members of the club launched the tractor and engine show just a couple of years after founding the organization, Witthar said.

“It’s not changed a lot from the time when they started their first show,” she said.

Events will begin with a parade or “tractor drive” in Shoshoni at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by live music, an auction and a “tractor pull” in the afternoon.

In a tractor pull, tractors are hitched to large sleds. Heavy weights are placed on a platform on the sleds. As the sleds move forward, the weight moves closer to the front of the sled, making it more difficult for the tractors to pull.

“It’s just for bragging rights, there are no prizes given out,” Witthar said. “It’s all fun to watch.”

Activities kick off again on Sunday with the tractor drive and tractor pull.

The weekend will also feature vendors, a craft show, food booths, a large sand box and pedal tractors for children to play with and a small “barrel train.” The club’s steam engine will also be used for demonstrations of corn grinding and water pumping.

For more information, visit the Wind River Flywheelers page on Facebook.

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