Friendship and camaraderie were in the atmosphere Friday and Saturday as those with an appreciation of farming past and present gathered on the farm of Charlie Neal and his family.
This was the sixth year the Neals have opened their land, still active farm land which was just cut and baled two weeks ago, and welcomed the public for the Glory Days Tractor Show. The two-day event kicked off Friday with lawnmower games, recognition of veterans and tractor games before a Parade of Power premiered those tractors which owners wanted to drive around the field and show off.
The first day concluded with a kids and an adult pedal tractor pull event and a gospel singing featuring Cullen’s Bridge.
On Saturday, lawnmowers again kicked off the festivities as lawnmower games and a lawnmower pull were held, following by veterans recognition and another Parade of Power at lunch time.
The afternoon was dedicated to the tractors as tractor games were followed by a tractor pull. The pulls were put on by the Old Time Tractor Pullers Association and Piedmont Lawnmower Pullers groups.
“I’ve been to tractor shows for years,” Neal said. “I grew up on a tractor and we raised tobacco here in this field.”
He said, “Little kids like [tractors], and I never grew up.”
With 94 antique tractors and mowers already on display by early afternoon Friday, Neal was expecting at least 300 to be on display by Saturday.
While some families in the neighborhood just drive their tractors to the event, Neal said some on display have come as far as two hours to participate in the weekend show.
As a tractor parts salesman, Neal already had the contacts prior to the inaugural show, which boasted 120 tractors. He said the annual show continues to grow.
Then in the spring, the Neals open their land again, around mid-April, for a swap meet.
“You make a bunch of friends at a tractor show,” he said of his attraction to the events. “You meet more friends each show you go to.”
Friends and family of Neal help make the annual event a success, working the admission gate, the information and registration booth, parking and more. For those who bring a tractor to display, admission is free for two people per tractor.
This year’s proceeds will be split between the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s We Honor Veterans program to aid veterans in the hospice service and the Lone Hickory Volunteer Fire Department, which had members and trucks on hand assisting with the event.
The 2018 proceeds will benefit Impact Yadkin and a veterans fund which Neal said has yet to be determined.
For brothers Ken and Jerry Shore, the weekend was a time to bring their own tractors as well as get a closer look at the other machines on display.
Jerry Shore, who lives in Jonesville, also brought his hand-made miniatures, everything from tractors to implements, animal traps, chainsaws, some were small enough to fit in a countertop display case and others were meant to be pulled behind a pedal tractor.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.