This year’s Harvest Fest offered a chance for antique tractor collectors from the Menard County area to show off their prized equipment. The parade, which lasted almost an hour during the Petersburg, Ill., festival, served up a selection of local high school bands, community groups and of course, tractors.
The historic Petersburg square was the perfect backdrop for residents and visitors lining the streets. The parade included several brands of antique tractors; International Harvester was out in force with a Farmall H, 808, Super MTA, F20, 460 and even a powerful 1206. The Ford that went through the parade was a power tractor with a Flathead engine option.
John Deere, Massey Harris, Allis-Chalmers, Oliver and Massey Ferguson were represented. A few pieces of other equipment, two wagons and a plow were also part of the antique tractor entourage.
The Harvest Fest was a Saturday, Sept. 15. The festival featured an array of vendors, including jewelers, authors, a weaver, community groups and even a collection of fall mums. Food was also in abundance, from Buffalo burgers to fried rice (if a visitor went away hungry, they just didn’t partake of the choices offered).
The Petersburg Square is also home to the Menard County Historical Society Museum. The museum is located in the former Frackelton Bank, built in 1889. Besides the regular county history, the museum also incorporates the unusual aspect of a former circus that was predominant in the Menard County area in the late 1800s. The museum also sports a vault that served the former bank.
Petersburg is the Menard County seat and, as most of central Illinois, is immersed in Abraham Lincoln history. Situated on the bluffs and part of the floodplain overlooking the Sangamon River, Petersburg is only two miles north of New Salem, the original settlement where Lincoln first lived when he came to Illinois.
This is where young Abe had a general store, was a surveyor, traveled up and down the river and studied the law, all before moving to the only house he ever owned in Springfield.
Moreover, this festival offered a chance for visitors to partake in the onset of fall before the snow flies.
Readers with questions or comments for Cindy Ladage may write to her in care of this publication.