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I can’t think of many events in our hobby that have generated more buzz in their aftermath than the September 12th inaugural Mackinaw Bridge Crossing. Someone else in response to a post on one of the other hobby related websites made an observation that I had noticed myself, even after 4+ hours sitting on their tractor seat in the wind, almost every participant was still grinning broadly as they passed us near the end of the parade. You could honestly see it on their faces, just how much they had enjoyed this very unique event.
As with anything untried and untested, there was some skepticism in advance, and I’m sure there are some things that could have been changed to improve the execution, but none of that seemed to detract from the final result, which was a great show for those who watched, and a truly unique experience for those who participated. I suspect the two local communities underestimated just how much interest there would be in an event that probably sounds rather obscure to an outsider, but now they know. In a small town like either Mackinaw City or St Ignace, it’s pretty hard to ignore the presence of over 500 antique tractors, their owners, and their families.
Most of us have visited those popular locations as tourists in the past, and have always done so in the company of many others who were on vacation, sight-seeing, etc. The whole thing takes on a different flavor when you’re in the company of fellow tractor enthusiasts, and we all felt very much at home with the differences. When you add a bunch of truckers to the mix, all of whom were in town for the big Show Truck Expo and Bridge Crossing, it made for an entertaining mix not often seen in tourist towns.
I have been to countless tractor pulls, many tractor shows, and a fair bunch of parades over the years, and can’t recall ever seeing an event that generated more excitement, enthusiasm, and camaraderie among the hobby community. This was something new and different. For that we all owe a very big debt of gratitude to Bob Baumgrass from Owosso Tractor Parts, the Mackinaw Bridge Authority, and all the others who worked and organized to make this event possible for us all to enjoy.
For all who were there to witness the spectacle and
for those who may have missed it, we offer the following series of
photos from a weekend
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