Tractors took over Saturday, Sept. 21, in Sidney Center, as more than 100 farm vehicles paraded through the hamlet.
The 10th annual Sidney Center Tractor Parade featured 114 registered tractors, organizers said, and 58 other vehicles.
Organizers, participants and attendees said the day offers a chance to celebrate Sidney Center’s agricultural history while drawing people to the hamlet.
“(Turnout) is fantastic. It’s just the community coming together,” organizer Gwen Hunt said. “It’s families, cousins, everyone. It’s crazy. Each of (the drivers) has family and friends here with them, so that’s people from in town and out of town.”
Organizer Terry Rendo estimated “thousands” attended this year’s parade.
“There are definitely more people here than live here,” she said.
Parade planner and Sidney Center resident Geri Mott noted the increase in participating tractors from last year’s 98.
“I think there are more entries because it’s the 10th anniversary,” she said.
Returning driver, and Sidney Center resident, Dave Morenus, 72, said he’s entered for the last “four or five years.” Morenus, a former farmer, entered his Ford 8000 tractor.
“It’s good and I think it’s a great thing for the community, because it brings in a lot of farmers and a lot of people you don’t see all year,” he said.
Driver John Earl of Unadilla said Saturday marked his third time participating in the roughly 1-mile parade, though he was especially keen to do so, as his 14-year-old son Jordan joined him for the first time.
“I grew up on a dairy farm,” John said, “and I think it’s a great thing what they’re doing here. This gets kids interested in and learning about agriculture and tractors and off the electronics.
“I entered because of my dad,” Jordan said, “and because I’ve always liked tractors.”
Though he’s never entered, Walton dairy farmer Jason Lambrecht said he looks forward annually to the parade.
“We try to come every year just to see what’s new,” he said. “This brings out all the old tractors from when they used to have to rough it, all the way to what they’ve got that’s new today.”
The oldest tractor entered, Mott noted, was a 1935 John Deere, and the most recent registered tractor was a 2016 model.
Mott said a committee of “six core people” organize the event during three meetings throughout the year and an immediate post-parade debrief to “discuss what worked, what might not have worked and any changes we want to make for next year.”
“We’ve been doing this so long that we really work independently, but together,” she said. “So, (committee members) all come together on the day knowing what to do and it’s kind of amazing what we’re able to pull off.”