A show featuring all things John Deere made its mark at Fonner Park, and it attracted tractor enthusiasts from across the state to see the displays.
The organization called "Classic Green" was founded about 15 months ago. About a year ago, organizers decided to have a show. "From the oldest and rarest tractors, to very common tractors, toys, pedal tractors, and even bikes, it's all here," Green Magazine editor Richard Hain said. As you can imagine, there were plenty of highlights at the show. "One of the neatest tractors is from 1918," Hain said. "It was kind of a transition between the Waterloo Boy before John Deere, into John Deere, and that's a very interesting tractor," Hain said. "There are demonstrations, threshing shows, and seminars on restoration. There are tractors that probably span about 100 years."
Hain says a lot of people are now collecting what are considered "muscle" tractors. "That's stuff built in the 60's, the 70's, and even into the 80's," Hain said. Some collectors have started to not repaint the tractors, in an effort to keep them as original as possible. "They are deciding the tractors are only original once, and once you paint them, they aren't original anymore," Hain said.
It may be the history of the John Deere Company that visitors to Classic Green appreciate. It may be one reason why there are so many fans of the brand. "John Deere is the only U.S. agricultural tractor company that has not been merged or bought out or anything else. They are still the original company, and you can trace them back to 1837 when John Deere developed the first steel plow," Hain said.
Classic Green is over now in Grand Island, but organizers say the plan is to have a show like this every two years. It's not clear yet what the location will be for the next Classic Green.