By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
Approximately 500 tractors will enter Washington on Sunday as the 19th annual WMT Great Eastern Iowa Tractorcade rolls into its home base and registration headquarters at the Washington County fairgrounds for the three-day event.
Washington Chamber of Commerce Assistant Director Alesha Davis said about 1,000 people, including riders and support teams, would be coming to town. The Chamber would be there to welcome the drivers with information packets about the area before a dinner is held in the evening for the drivers.
For those not familiar with the Tractorcade, many people compare it to RAGBRAI, except with tractors. This year, 500 tractors, along with more than 300 support people will take part in the ride. The event rotates through different parts of eastern Iowa annually. The tractors will roll out in two groups, with the 10-mph (16-kph) tractors in front and the 14-mph (22.5-kph) tractors in the back.
Davis said on Monday the riders would be heading west to visit, Keota, Wellman, Kalona, Hills, and Riverside. After that, a ride through Washington will be held about 5 p.m. with some of the tractors to be displayed on the square. The Washington Municipal Band also will be playing.
Tuesday the drivers will be heading south to visit Brighton, Rubio, Richmond, Ollie, Sigourney, Harper, Keota and West Chester.
On Wednesday, the last day of the event, the riders will be going east to Coppock, down to Brighton and Lake Darling for the half-day ride. After this is over, the tractor riders will head home.
Additionally the Spirit Ride, an event to promote public awareness of the Move Over law will visit the Washington County Fairgrounds on June 12, in conjunction with the Tractorcade. A ceremony paying tribute to fallen first responders killed on roadways will begin at 10 a.m. In addition to several pieces of emergency equipment and two trucks, tractors from the Tractorcade are expected to participate.
For additional information and a map of this year?s ride, log on to the WMT website at www.wmtradio.com and follow the links to the Tractorcade button. Receive additional information by calling 319-395-0530.