Wild Rose, Greene County hosting WHO Classic Tractor Ride June 25-28

~courtesy of The Scranton Journal

Fans of “old iron” are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 21st annual WHO Radio Tractor Ride next week. Classic tractors from various manufacturers will arrive at Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson on Sunday, June 25. The machines, drivers and passengers will leave early each morning for the next three days on routes that will take them north, south and east before returning to Jefferson each evening. 

Visitors are welcome to place their lawn chairs along the routes to view the estimated almost 500 vehicles as they pass by.

“We are looking forward to rolling out the red carpet for these lovingly restored red, green, orange, yellow, white, grey and blue symbols of the Heartland’s agricultural history,” Aaron Harn, Wild Rose marketing director said. “Whether you’ve never missed a ride since 1996, or this is your first time to participate, this year’s event is one that tractor enthusiasts and tourists won’t want to miss.”

The event will be kicked off on Sunday evening at Wild Rose with a concert by legendary entertainer Leroy Van Dyke and his Country Gold Tour which includes Jimmy Fortune, T. Graham Brown, T. G. Sheppard and Mandy Barnett.

Donald “Chop” Gibson has participated in the WHO Tractor Ride in the past and will be among the nearly 500 drivers of classic tractors in this year’s ride. | Scranton Journal photo

The tractors have been divided into eight groups, rated by the tractors’ speed of travel. They will leave and arrive on staggered schedules. The departure times are within an hour but the return times vary by more than two hours due to the slower speed that some of the antiques travel.

Monday’s route is 95 miles, leaving Wild Rose Casino and driving to Landus Cooperative in Farnhamville. The first group rolls out at 6:30 am heading north on Highway 4 until turning west on 190th St (County Road E-33). They then head north on I Ave (County Road P-14), passing through Churdan, continuing north on Highway 4 to Highway 175 where they will turn east. They will turn north onto Garfield Ave to Landus with the first group in at 8:55 am.

That group will leave at 9:33, traveling 25 miles to Hidden Acres at 3837 Union Ave in Dayton, where lunch will be served. The machines and drivers will have about an hour’s break, with the first group leaving at 12:43 pm. They are scheduled to arrive at the Paton Pit Stop about 2:10 for a 10-minute break.

From Paton, the tractors will drive on 130th St onto N Avenue; then traveling west on Highway 4 into Churdan where they will take a break at the Paton-Churdan School. The first group is slated to arrive at the school at 3:45 and then will travel back on the same roads as they did in the morning to Jefferson, with the first group due back about 4:56 and the last travelers in at 6:19 pm.

Monday night there will be a special presentation of “Johnny Guitar” at History Boy Theater in Jefferson.

Tuesday’s route into Guthrie and Carroll Counties is 91 miles. The first group will leave Jefferson at 6:30 am by following 235th St (County Road E-53) east to Q Ave, where they will turn south onto Quaker Ave; then R Ave to 305th St (County Road E-57) to Quest Ave (County Road P-30) through Jamaica. The route continues south on P-30 to 160th St (County Road F-25) where they will turn west into Yale and the first stop at Landus Cooperative with the first group arriving at 8:55 am.

Following a 30-minute break, the tractors will travel west on F-25 through Springbrook State Park. They will turn south on Highway 25, heading to Guthrie Center for their lunch break at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds. The first group is due about 10:52 am for an hour-long stop.

Then the tractors will drive west on Highway 44 to Justice Road to Wichita, heading northwest on 130th to Hickory Ave and 125th St, where they will stop for a 20-minute break at Whiterock Conservancy with the first group due at 1:22 pm. They will  leave Whiterock via Fig Avenue north to Highway 141, traveling west to S. Fifth Ave where the route will drive down the Coon Rapids Main Street before leaving town on County Road E-63, turning north on Highway 25 to Scranton.

The final stop of the day is at the Scranton Community Center, with the first group scheduled at 3:18 pm for a 20-minute break. They will then follow County Road E-53 back into Jefferson, with the first group arriving about 4:35 pm.

VFW Post 9599 invites the riders and guests to join them for their evening meal. The veterans will serve creamed turkey, biscuits, mashed potatoes, salad, desserts and drinks in the VFW Hall on the east side of the courthouse square from 4 to 8 pm. Raffle tickets will be sold for a 50/50 drawing and a microwave oven.

Wednesday’s route into Boone County is 60 miles. The first group leaves Jefferson at 7 am going north on Highway 4 to 170th St (County Road E-26) through Dana to Ogden where they will enjoy a brunch at the Ogden High School, beginning at 9:52 am. From there, the tractors will head south on Highway 169, turning west on 280th St, Clover Ave and 290th St while driving into Rippey for a 10-minute break at Landus Cooperative. The first group is due to arrive there at 12:27 pm.

The final leg will travel from Rippey northwest on Highway 144 to the south edge of Grand Junction, following County Road E-53 back to Jefferson, arriving back in town at 1:44 pm.

Guests are welcome to peruse the classic vehicles along the route or at their stops but there is a schedule that the drivers will be expected to keep. They can also be viewed in the parking lot of Wild Rose Casino.

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