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By Janet Kubat Willette
ELLENDALE, Minn. — The fourth annual Grandpa’s Tractor Ride route varies a little each year, but it has always started in Clarks Grove.
This year, the tractors will start from Hayward for the 26- to 27-mile journey. Tractors will line up at noon on June 1 in the ballpark and leave at 1 p.m. for the three-hour ride, traveling at about 9 mph.
From Hayward, the group will go south on County Road 26 to the stop sign, turning right on County Road 13 to Glenville. They will travel through Glenville, continuing on County Road 13 to County Road 18 North. Then they’ll take County Road 84 East to Margaretha North to East Ninth Street to Todd Avenue to South Shore Drive east to Highway 26 north to Hayward. They try to stay on county tar roads that aren’t real busy, Chris John son said.
The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Department is real good about working with them, Chris added.
This year, as in years past, the Johnsons will collect money for the Eagle’s Cancer Telethon. They have raised more than $500.
The family hopes to have Norman’s two tractors in the parade: the Farmall H and a 1951 Farmall M.
Irene, Norman’s bride of 61 years, will be looking for family members when she watches the parade. It’s fun to see all the tractors go by, she added.
Quite a few cars line up along the route to watch the tractors and honk for their favorites, Chris said.
Norman doesn’t know what he enjoys most about Grandpa’s Tractor Ride.
"I guess it was the excitement of the whole thing," he said.
All tractors are required to have a slow-moving vehicle sign.
"We’re already thinking about our routes for next year," Chris said.