Tractor Rodeo to have fun, food, entertainment
Young kids. Old equipment. Tons of fun.
That about sums up the 35th annual Tractor Rodeo and Family Fun, which will be hosted by the Foundation of Yuma Regional Medical Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District Grounds.
“We want these young people there to see this old equipment,” said Ernie Millner, rodeo committee chairman and foundation board member.
The event will offer plenty to entertain kids and teens, as well as adults, with vintage car and equipment displays, antique tractor pull demonstrations, horseback rides and clowns and balloons.
Although new equipment will be displayed, one of the biggest draws is the antique equipment. This year, Millner is excited about the new Forgotten Iron displays.
Among the items displayed will be hundreds of old engines, tractors and equipment that date back to the turn of the 20th century.
“These tractors are old,” Millner noted. “People will want to see it for the historical value and for the fact that they actually work.”
He explained that “these engines used to make everyday life, especially on the farm, more productive in the Industrial Age.”
One was invented in 1860 by Belgian engineer Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir, who made the first gas-fired internal combustion engine, which became the first to be mass produced.
Other engines to be displayed run on hot air, “not steam, not gas, only hot air,” Millner said.
An “unbelievable” rare item that will be displayed is the Crosley Icyball, a gas-absorption refrigerating device from 1929.
“It was the first refrigerator,” said Millner. The only other similar one on display is at the Smithsonian Institution. “You won't see it anywhere else in Arizona, except at the show.”
Other items of interest include a display of radios from the early 1900s and four of the rarest tractors in the U.S., dating back to 1916.
“Some of these things are as big as my pickup,” Millner said.
The equipment all comes from members of the Forgotten Iron Club, who mostly hail from the Western states. They will be on hand to discuss and explain the displays.
“There will be plenty for them to see and discuss,” Millner said.
Visitors will also enjoy live entertainment, with two bands on hand. And they can visit the Yuma Regional Medical Center Wellness Clinic and other display booths to watch weavers and spinners at work.
Plenty of beverages and food will be available, from hot dogs to barbecue. A $3 breakfast of sausage gravy and biscuits will be served from 8 to 9 a.m., with a barbecue lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost for lunch is $6 for adults, $3 for children 12 and younger.
Admission to the rodeo is $5 for adults and free for children and for students with identification.
To reach the Tractor Rodeo, take Interstate 8 east to Exit 30 and follow the signs.
All proceeds generated from the Tractor Rodeo and Family Fun day benefit Foundation programs. “All the money is split up and it all stays in the county,” Millner pointed out.
The programs that will benefit include the School-Based Health Care Mobile Clinic, which provides basic medical care for the uninsured and under-insured elementary age children of Yuma County, local health care scholarships and Tri-Valley Ambulance.
“This is the 35th year for the Tractor Rodeo. In the last 15 years, over $500,000 has been raised for the east Yuma county community,” said Wayne A. Steffey, executive director of the Foundation of Yuma Regional Medical Center.
“This event is coordinated every year by a group of volunteers who are dedicated to the foundation programs. The foundation and those served by the Tractor Rodeo are grateful for their continued support.”
For more information, contact Serena Holthaus at email@example.com or 336-2445.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.