Most of the show’s entries were restored tractors. (Heather Mann for The Tribune)
HANCEVILLE – History was on display on the campus of Wallace State Community College Saturday. The 20th annual Hanceville Antique Tractor & Engine Show drew collectors, farmers and enthusiasts from miles around to enjoy the showpieces, most restored tractors, but some straight out of the fields.
The tractor show was started 20 years ago by Jimmy Hamrick and Hershel Needham, who have both passed away. Now, Charles Allen and Bonnie Hamrick Brannan, Jimmy Hamrick’s daughter, run the event.
Guests enjoyed contests like the pedal tractor race, while folks with their own tractors raced in the slow race. Allen described the slow race as "drag racing in reverse" and explained that the idea was to give the trophy to the last tractor to cross the finish line, meaning racers must go as slowly as possible without their engines dying. The popular skillet-tossing contest was also a big hit.
Other features included food from Two Fat Men catering (everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to steak and lasagna), homemade soft-serve ice cream from Harley Morris churned by one of the hit-and-miss engines, another engine grinding fresh cornmeal, door prizes for everyone who brought a tractor (such as two gallons of fertilizer or a folding rocking chair, and the Parade of Power.
Allen said patriotism is an important part of the show. "As you can see, most all tractors have flags on them," he stated. "This is one of the few times where we start with the national anthem, we end with the national anthem, we have lots of flags in between. We're real patriotic."
Before the first slow race started, Allen shared, "I want to commend Wallace State for letting us use their campus for this, that's been great, and the City of Hanceville for sponsoring this for us, that's been really great too. For a long time, we were doing this on our own, but the City of Hanceville picked it up and helped us out."
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