The weather was picture perfect as the friendly folks with their tractors lined up outside of Castalia in a farm field, wiping down their special antiques as they waited to parade through town Sunday, June 8. We can attest that Northeast Iowa loves their tractors! And when it comes to a being able to see a large collection of antique tractors on parade, the 22nd Annual Castalia Tractor Days is the place to be with a long line of various colors, shapes, and sizes from all over northeast Iowa.
The noon parade began with Veteran Dean Bylery of Fort Atkinson driving his antique military restored 1948 Jeep CJ2A jeep carrying veterans from the area, followed by Grand Marshals Gerald and Marlys Hager and family. This year’s feature tractor owned by Gene Uhlenhake of Ossian waved to the large crowd as he drove his 1968 1650 Cockshutt with his dog Skip by his side. After that there were waves of different colors, brands, and models of antique tractors with a friendly wave to all. The kids loved all the candy and other treasures that were thrown to them--even our old lab was given a Mr. Freeze to keep him cool. After the parade at the City Park, there was music by the Wissmann Family, raffles, auctions, children’s activities including Andyland Amusements, a food stand by the Zion Lutheran Peacemakers Youth Group and the South Winn Trapshooting Team had a soft serve ice cream stand.
For a town with about 175 people and only about 50 families, they sure know how to put on a fun filled event for the whole family. We are so lucky to live in one of these small communities where everyone is friendly and treats even strangers like a neighbor. Sitting under a shade tree eating our brats, watching the many people who brought their families including their pets, all getting together to enjoy each other’s company. What a wonderful day! Now that is what Northeast Iowa is about!