2008-08-30 / Top News

700+ Antique Tractors, 100 Big Rigs Heading to St. Ignace September 12 - 14

By Karen Gould

More than 700 antique tractors, nearly 100 customized semis and panel trucks, and restored kids pedal cars will be center stage the weekend of September 12 to September 14 during the fall truck show in St. Ignace. Activities include two parades across the Mackinac Bridge and through Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, truck, tractor, and car displays, and a static light show. All events are free to the public.

"This is probably the only show on earth where you can find toys, pedal cars, regular collector vehicles, custom trucks, antique tractors, and 18-wheelers," said Ed Reavie of St. Ignace, the founder of the Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show, around which this year's events are held.

The Owosso Tractor Parts Mackinac Bridge Antique Crossing begins Friday at noon with a 20-mile long parade of more than 700 antique tractors. They will be staged in Mackinaw City, proceed through town and across the Mackinac Bridge, through downtown St. Ignace, and finish at Kewadin Shores Casino on Mackinac Trail. Tractor owners, who are coming from 28 clubs and several states, will display their machines at the casino through the weekend.

"Bob Baumgras of Owosso Tractor Parts has done a fantastic job of promoting and organizing the area's first antique tractor show," said Mr. Reavie.

Guest of honor for the tractor event is agricultural television journalist Max Armstrong.

About 100 big rigs will arrive in town at 6 p.m. Friday as the 13th annual Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show gets underway.

Trucks will be on display at Little Bear East Arena and along State Street. Watching drivers back the 80-foot long rigs into the tight downtown spots, said Mr. Reavie, has become an event drawing many who appreciate the skill.

The Parade of Lights will begin around 8 p.m. Saturday as the show trucks travel across the Mackinac Bridge to Mackinaw City and back to St. Ignace, where they will take over State Street, parking two to three abreast, for a nighttime display of their custom show and running lights. The city will turn off the street lights for the showing, and spectators get an up-close look at the chrome and air-brushed rigs.

Mackinac Ford Sales of St. Ignace will sponsor a car show that includes hot rods, custom cars, and new vehicles at Little Bear East. Also at Little Bear will be a swap meet and display of popular petal cars.

Kewadin Shores Casino will hold a customer appreciation day Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a free outdoor barbecue and cash drawings.

Mr. Reavie credits the Mackinac Bridge and local scenery for the popularity of the weekend events.

Crossing the bridge at dusk and parking in town near Lake Huron, said Mr. Reavie, has always been popular with the truck owners, and a rare opportunity for antique tractor owners to cross the Mackinac Bridge was a big draw for the first annual tractor show.

A free shuttle bus provided by Kewadin Shores Casino will be available on an on-call basis Saturday between Little Bear East Arena and the casino.

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