Monday, September 19

Ionia NY 2011 Fall Festival and Tractor Parade

This past Saturday was the annual Ionia Fall Festival and Tractor Parade. We spent the day there with family - close accommodations since I grew up there and that is where the family lives. It was chilly but nice, and we were all pretty tired by late afternoon.

First we inspected the tractors before the parade, all lined up behind the towns original barn (built by the founders).

Fords and Internationals and John Deere and Allis Chalmers......

Of course there were lots of people looking over all the restored beauties and I kept hearing things like "Yep, you got a nice one here...."

One of my favorites - a 1922 Hart-Parr Model 30

The parade was good - lots of tractors which the little man loved. I wish my Dad and Roy would get their tractors in - maybe next year. Dad has a nice International 230 and Roy has a John Deere from the 40's (which doesn't currently run...)

The festival was smaller than last year in the number of vendors. They had a few with food and some crafts, but not as many as I would have liked to see. I was surprised that none of the local businesses had booths - the Alpaca Farm, the local farm markets - I didn't see any "open" signs on the antique and craft store right next to the festival grounds, or at the bakery on the corner. They need to have it more like the Fireman's carnivals used to be - lots of kids games, small rides, many more vendors, and also more displays from the local businesses and more animal exhibits.

They did have a few boy scout and girl scout games and a bounce house for the kids, which we could not get the little man out of, and the cake wheel which is always fun. We won a cake and some cookies! They had some live music which was good also.

Inside the fire hall, there were great displays from the historical society, including a quilt display and a Civil War display. Very interesting and informative.

The chicken BBQ was, sadly, not done by the firemen this year. They had an outside company come in and provide the meal. It was good but not as good as the fireman's BBQ, and that great sauce. It would be great if they could have the firemen again next year as well as encourage more vendors to attend. I was told that people were asking to buy the display quilts but they were not for sale - a few booths next year offering handmade quilts as well as other local products might go a long way.

The highlights for little man were the tractors, or course, as well as the hay ride pulled by a big shiny John Deere. He also got his first bee sting which resulted in some crying - but at least we found out that he is not allergic!

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