AMBOY - Visitors to the Amboy City Park, expecting to look at the tree carvings and enjoy the playground, were in for a surprise on Saturday at noon. A convoy of tractors entered the park for lunch and an impromptu tractor show was available to the visitors.
A group of tractor enthusiasts met in Shabbona for the thrEE hour, 50 mile roundtrip drive on Saturday morning. There were 40 tractor lovers, with one participant coming from as far as Watseka, riding on Allis-Chalmers, Case, Ford, International Harvester, John Deere, Massey Harris, Minneapolis-Moline and Oliver tractors. The newest tractor in the drive was a 1983 John Deere and oldest a 1942 Farmall. Ride coordinators, Joe Barshinger, Dale Pierson, Steve Hauser and Kevin Hickey, said the group gathered didn't have an official name.
"We kind of fly under the radar" said Hauser.
This is the fifth year they have been doing a ride. Most of the participants are from DeKalb or Kane County and come from all walks of life. Last year, the group went down into LaSalle County. The planning for the 2018 trip will begin this fall.
"We drive the area selected and determine the route. The main focus is on safety for us and the public," said Hickey, cousin of First National Bank president Mike Hickey.
The final route is set about six weeks before the ride and county sheriff offices are notified. A group of traffic directors, with safety vests, travels in front to the group to notify motorists when the group needs to cross a main route or requires left turns across traffic.
"The clerk's office in Amboy was very helpful when we went in for the permit for the pavilion," Pierson said. He added that Amboy has the benefit of Meusel's Dairy Delite, a favorite ice cream stop of his. He planned to have dessert there before leaving town.
The group had a fried chicken lunch catered by Dennis and Cindy McCoy and then headed out for the trip back to Shabbona. The return route, a bit different from the route taken to get to Amboy, took them through West Brooklyn.
"Coming to Amboy worked out great for us" said Kevin Hickey " We might need to come back this way again."
An impromptu tractor show was held at Amboy City Park on Saturday when a group from DeKalb and Kane counties set Amboy as their destination. The group represents all walks of life and eight different makes and numerous models of tractors. (Photo by Mary Mays)