You can step back into the past, twice in the same weekend if you like, and only drive a couple hundred miles from one location to the other to do it. The Tri-State Antique Engine and Tractor show opens August 22 near Portland in Jay County. It's billed as the largest gas engine and tractor show in the world.
Gyneth Augsburger, of the Jay County visitor's bureau, says visitors from all over the world will come. Total attendance should top 50,000. It's the 42nd annual run for this show. People began showing up for the vent as early as Aug 11th.
Meanwhile, the third Half Century of Progress Show begins the next day, Aug. 23, in Rantoul, Il. Rantoul is about 15 miles north of Champaign, home to the University of Illinois. It's about one hour north from Decatur, Ill, site of the 2007 Farm Progress Show, slated for Aug. 28 through Aug. 30.
Dates for the Gas engine and Tractor show in Portland are August 22 to Aug. 26. The Half Century of Progress Show in Illinois, begins Aug 23 and concludes Aug. 26. It's been expanded to include a fourth day instead of three. Max Armstorng, the WLS broadcaster and Princeton, Ind., native, is very involved in this event. He heads a travelcade of tractors on the first day of the show each year. He has a pair of antique Farmalls, fully restored, that were once used on his parent's farm.
The Half Century of Progress Show encompasses 300 acres, with inside space available in case of rain. It is also an easy walk to the former Chanute Field Air Base. At least part of the land located on the old air base site is used in the show.
The first Half Century of Progress Show was held in conjunction with the 2003 50th Anniversary Show in Danville, Illinois. It was so well received that organizers planned a second one. Then they decided to have a third one this summer. The original show was just across the field form the Farm Progress Show south parking lot. The entire old-timer's show made it in before the rain, although only the first day of the actual, 50th anniversary Farm Progress Show could be held due to rain.
The 2005 Half-Century of Progress Show featured steam engines pulling a specially built 60-moldbaord bottom plow. Shots from that demonstration have been literally passed around the country. It featured 30 men riding on the plow, each responsible for two plow bottoms.
To find out about the Portland Show, visit: www.tristategasengine-tractor.com.