Dodge County tractor parade is Saturday
KASSON — Saturday at 9 a.m. a collection of vintage tractors will rumble out of Joel Senjem's farm on Dodge County Road 15, about seven miles south of Highway 14, and trek off for lunch at the Pizza Ranch in Stewartville.
At an average speed of 10 mph, it'll take them until almost 1 p.m. to get there.
"We accommodate the slowest tractor," said Frank Ness, one of the event's founders.
"We're not real organized. We're just a bunch of guys that like to get together and go out for a ride. We never know how many tractors we're going to have," he said.
"We don't like to let go of our old tractors," said organizer Bob Senjem.
Last year, between 50 and 60 tractors showed up for the parade, including those manufactured by John Deere, Allis-Chalmers, Farmall, Ford, Minneapolis Moline, Massey Harris "and a Case or two," agreed the men.
The group will head south on Dodge County Road 15 to 710th Street and turn left, cross the county line and take the same road — now Olmsted County Road 26 — to Rock Dell. They'll then head north on County Road 3 to East St. Olaf Church where they will stop for coffee, provided by the St Olaf Heritage Association. The group saved and renovated the 1856 Tverberg Cabin, across the road from the church.
The exact route from East St. Olaf Church to Stewartville will depend on what time the convoy leaves the church. They like to stay on blacktop to keep the dust down, said Ness, and plan to travel north on County Road 3 a short way and then cut across to County Road 8 for the rest of the journey to the outskirts of Stewartville.
Two big tractors equipped with flashing lights will lead and follow the older tractors.
During the five years the group has been holding the parade, they never have been rained out, said Ness. That might affect the parade because, "Those old tractors don't have canopies."
"We get to enjoy the sights because we're moving so slow," said Senjem. "People get out and wave. They get out their lawn chairs and watch us go by."