Tractorcade rolling into city

WMT radio event will bring hundreds to fairgrounds


The Muscatine County Fairgrounds will host several hundred tractors starting this Sunday for the 23rd annual WMT 2022 Great Eastern Iowa Tractorcade.

“We’re working on getting our buildings ready,” Muscatine County Fairgrounds manager Kelsey Meyers said. “We’re working on getting things set up outside so when WMT comes in we definitely have things ready and cleaned up as far as where are tractors getting parked, where are they getting set up for registration, things are set up for the banquet, making sure everything is just ready to go.”

WMT started considering the fairgrounds immediately after the fair ended last year.

“They had their first visit the week after the fair ended in 2021 actually,” Meyers said.

WMT spoke with the Association of Iowa Fairs to look for recommendations of places that can accommodate that many people, she added.

“Fairgrounds just have the facilities to handle it,” Meyers said. “But they also look for people to work with because there is a lot of people to communicate back and forth with.”

Between those two things, the Muscatine County Fair was the number one recommendation.

A couple of days after the fair ended, Meyers gave WMT a tour of the fairgrounds, she said. WMT asked her to be discreet and not tell anyone because they hadn’t made a decision yet.

A couple weeks later, they let Meyers know the fairgrounds was in the top two for being selected. Tractorcade officials returned to the fairgrounds for another tour and about a week later they told Meyers the Muscatine County Fairgrounds was selected. “And I said, ‘Ok, that’s pretty cool,’” she added.

They asked her to be discreet again and not let anyone know, Meyers said. On Jan. 21, WMT finally announced the tractorcade was coming to the Muscatine County Fairgrounds at a special Grand Opening celebration at J.J. Nichting implement's new complex north of West Liberty.

“And from there we started booking camping sites,” she said. “Anybody can camp.” As of last week, 40 of the 90 camping sites are rented.

Tractors will be gathering at the fairgrounds from Sunday, June 12 through Wednesday, June 15.

On Sunday, June 12, driver check-in begins at 11 a.m., Meyers said. Hamburgers, hot dogs and brats will be available for purchase from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the Muscatine County Fair. A bluegrass band will play in the grove from 1-4 p.m. and a banquet dinner will be held from 4-7 p.m. in the Activities Center for a fee.

Tractors will leave the fairgrounds in six groups starting at 6:45 a.m. Monday morning, Meyers said. The last group is estimated to leave at 10:45 a.m.

“The first day, they’re going to go over to Lone Tree, Columbus Junction and over to Ardon Creek Winery and then back to the fairgrounds,” she added.

On day two, the Tractorcade travels to Wilton, Bennett, The Cove implement and then back to the fairgrounds.Wednesday, they will go to the Buchanan House, she said.

“Wednesday’s a short day,” Meyer said. “They leave in the morning and then they’ll get back anywhere between 11:30 and 2 p.m.”

Lunch will be served at the Muscatine County Fairgrounds on and will be ribeye steak sandwiches served by the fair, she added.

Muscatine County Fair Advisory Board member Tom Christensen said everyone on the board was excited to hear the fairgrounds were elected to host the tractorcade. They knew it would draw a lot of people to the area.

“Hopefully some of them will return to the fair to either the races we have or any other events,” Christensen said. “Very seldom do we get something like that in town anyways, so I hope that they take advantage of the restaurants and the convenience stores.”

West Liberty Chamber of Commerce board president Kara Kruse said the Chamber will be at the fairgrounds Sunday to greet Tractorcade participants. Restaurant information will be handed out to the riders and a pamphlet of local businesses for families staying in town or visiting.

“We would just like the families to get out and explore the town,” Kruse said. “Enjoy all the businesses that we have. Go in, see what we have to offer and enjoy.”

Tractorcade routes

Day one – Journey to the Junction

The tractors will leave West Liberty heading west on F62, then travel south on X14 and west on Highway 22 looping on W66 and X14 eventually getting to their morning stop in Lone Tree. After that, they will go south on X14, G28 and Highway 70, pass through Conesville and will end up at their lunch stop at the Louisa County Fairgrounds in Columbus Junction. On their way back, the tractors will pass through Fredonia and Letts, have an afternoon stop at Ardon Creek Winery and then will return back to the fairgrounds.

Day two –Boot with a Spur

On Tuesday, the tractors start their day heading south on Highway 70, they’ll head east on F70, then north on Y14 to Wilton, which is their morning stop. Afterward, they will head east on F58 toward Durant, north on Y26, pass through Sunburry, then head west on F44, north on Y14 to Bennett and will have lunch at Bennett Elementary School.

In the afternoon, they will head north and west on Highway 130, pass through Tipton, head south on Highway 38, have their afternoon stop at Cove Equipment, pass through Moscow and Atalissa and return to West Liberty.

Final Day – West, Down, West

The final day is the shortest route for the Tractorcade.

They will leave West Liberty heading west on US Highway 6, go north on X30, pass through Downey, West Branch and Cedar Bluff and then head south on X40. They will stop at Buchanan House Winery, pass through Springdale and then return to West Liberty. The COVID-19 pandemic The

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact n all local lives and activities. However, some activities NEVER stop – especially Human Trafficking, according to Tom Barr, chairman of the local fight against sexual and labor trafficking through the Rotary Club of West Liberty.

The organization has been fighting to prevent Human Trafficking since 2017, and Barr says “any success that may be claimed is due to the professional support and special programs brought to West Liberty by Braking Traffik,” along with local educational efforts.

Barr, a member of the West Liberty Rotary Club expressed his gratitude for five years of support from Braking Traffik in bringing educational programs to West Liberty schools and the community through presentations at public forums, to social clubs, Christian youth groups, the entire West Liberty Community School staff and faculty and again to Superintendent Shaun Kruger and his administrators.

“Rotary’s $1,000 donation cannot begin to express our appreciation for their continued support,” he said.

Braking Traffik, a division of Family Resources, of Davenport, is dedicated to ending human trafficking in Iowa and Illinois. Founded by former Iowa Senator Maggie Tinsman in 2008, the nonprofit continued to grow and in 2016, merged with Family Resources, allowing the program to further expand services.

Braking Traffik provides community outreach and education, legislative advocacy and comprehensive direct services to survivors of human trafficking in Scott, Jackson, Clinton, Muscatine and Louisa counties in Iowa, and Rock Island County in Illinois.

Braking Traffik has brought training to professionals and community members including law enforcement, medical personnel, school administrators and other agencies across the region.

Human trafficking is the third largest industry in the world and no community is immune. Human trafficking — using force, fraud or coercion to exploit someone for sex or labor — affects all ages, races, and ethnicities. The problem is real and happening right here in Iowa.

In April of this year, Rotary International adopted a resolution from District 6000 of Iowa to take a more active role in fighting human trafficking worldwide.