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Half Century of Progress Show sets stage for Farm Progress Show

Tom J. Bechman vintage Allis-Chalmers tractor
TRACTORS GALORE: See hundreds of tractors at the Half Century of Progress Show in Rantoul, Ill. These tractors are owned by the Hedrick family and friends, Battleground, Ind.
The premier working show for vintage farm equipment is slated for Aug. 26-29.

Never underestimate the draw and appeal of older farm equipment, especially if it’s working in the field. Thousands will flock to the Half Century of Progress Show Aug. 26-29 to see all makes of vintage farm equipment on display. The real attraction is seeing it working, especially picking corn and plowing.

“We have people who bring their tractors and equipment several hundred miles just to plow a couple rounds in the field,” says John Fredrickson, Kentland, Ind. The Half Century of Progress Show is held every other year, the week before the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. This year the Farm Progress Show is Aug. 31 through Sept.2.

The Half Century of Progress Show is sponsored by the I and I Antique Tractor Club, based in Penfield, Ill. Fredrickson and Russell Bohr are co-chairmen of the program.

Sponsorship helps make this show possible. “Beck’s is joining us as the premier sponsor for 2021, and we are thrilled to have them aboard,” Fredrickson says.

Frequently asked questions

Fredrickson answers frequently asked questions about the show:

How do I learn more about the show? The best way to stay in tune with any changes is by visiting our website at halfcenturyofprogress.com. We also are on Facebook. The general schedule will be posted on the website well in advance of the show. You can also call 217-595-5000, and you will be routed to one of us to answer questions.

What are the hours of the show? The hours are 7 a.m. CDT until after the evening tractor pull ends. There is a traditional tractor drive which finishes at the show grounds on Thursday between noon and 1 p.m. That is the parade for the day, and it kicks off the day’s events. Preregistration is required to participate in the tractor drive.

Where is the show located? The show is at Rantoul, Ill., about 15 miles north of Champaign. The show takes place at the Rantoul National Aviation Center, which is the former Chanute Air Force Base. We have about 100 acres of concrete for exhibiting and parking, plus additional land for field demonstrations. Corn went in early and should be ready for harvest. The show happens rain or shine.

What is the admission price? Admission is $20 per person or $40 per person for a four-day pass. Children 12 and under are free.

Can I bring a tractor or implement to exhibit? Absolutely! We had about 1,200 exhibitors at the 2019 show. There is no preregistration if you are bringing a tractor and/or implement. There is also no charge to exhibit — you will receive two free passes. Exhibitors can arrive late or leave early with their equipment, if necessary. You will register when you arrive at the show at Hangar 2. If you are going to participate in the field, you will need to attend either a morning or afternoon training session.

Can I bring my own golf cart or ATV? Yes, but there is a $40 tag fee, good for all four days of the show. Five mile per hour speed limits will be observed on the grounds. Motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles are not permitted on the show grounds.

You can inquire about renting a golf cart at 866-275-2742. For information about dry camping grounds, call 217-799-7775.

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