CENTERBURG — Some of them came to check out the antique farm tractors and machinery, others to browse through the craft tents, or maybe buy some honey or freshly made apple cider. Others came to enjoy the square-dancing tractors or to cheer on their kids in the kiddie tractor pull. Most seemed to be stopping at one of the food or drink stands.
Good weather brought out good crowds and everyone seemed to be having fun Sunday at the 2011 Oldtime Farming Festival in Centerburg.
“We’ve been blessed with good weather,” said Berth Selby, a festival worker since 2002. “There was twice this many people here Saturday.”
Bob and Diana Brush of Centerburg were taking a break with a bite to eat when asked about their favorite part of the festival.
“Saturday’s parade,” Bob said.
But Diana wasn’t so certain. “I don’t really know. I come mainly to see people. We’ve seen people this weekend we haven’t seen for years.”
Hannah Kilgore, 8, of Centerburg, wasn’t choosy. She likes “mostly all of it — both the games and the food,” she said while finishing off an ear of corn.
Her mother, Shirley, said she comes for family. “Getting together is fun.”
Stacy Carlisle of Centerburg said she came for the tractors, while Patrick Latham of Centerburg commented, “We live just around the corner. I came to eat.”
Although Linda Van Rhoden grew up in Croton and lives in Johnstown, she hadn’t been to the festival in 15 years. “It’s bigger now than it was then.”
Sue Smith of Columbus grew up in the area, but had not been back for the farming festival in years.
“It used to be just a few tents and a lot of people. I just enjoy all the people. I also like the crafts and the mums,” she said.
The Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull was a popular event for kids and their parents, as the kids strained to pull ever-greater weights the length of marked lane, while their parents cheered and took pictures from the sidelines.
“I want to go farther,” one child was heard to say when he failed to make it the full distance.
But most seemed to just enjoy it and gave it their best shot, sometimes with a look of fierce determination on their faces as they strained to keep the weighted sled moving.
The reward was the smile on the faces of the winners, like that of Ryder Rhodeback, 5, of Mount Vernon, when he received his trophy and certificate for third place in the age 5 to 6 class.
Smiles and laughter were common, too, in the audience watching the square-dancing tractors. Decorated with something to indicate the “guys” and “gals,” the drivers took their tractors through the motions (well, sort of) of a square dance at the commands of a caller.