Let me introduce you to something you’ve likely never heard of: tractor square dancing. And, yes, I can assure you it’s just as strange and intriguing as it sounds. Not just anyone can hop on a tractor and perform square dances at the farm shows, it takes a great amount of skill and seat time to really have the ability to keep up with the pace of the dancing.
Let’s take a look at what really goes on at these events.
Tractor Square Dancing: What You Need to Know
The most famous group of square-dancing tractors happens to be located at Farmall Promenade in Nemaha, Iowa. During these shows, the drivers take their vintage tractors, garden tractors, or antique tractors and perform all kinds of do-si-dos and daisy chains around each other to show off their skills and give the spectators a great show.
It’s actually a pretty impressive performance, seeing as these square dancers normally keep their tractors in third gear. Hence, why you really need to know how to operate one of these things before you can get in on the action. Since tractor drivers are starting to become a little more rare, it’s almost a dying breed of people capable of these types of maneuvers.
The very first tractor square dance took place in a 1953 International Harvester advertising campaign. The event was meant to show off the Farmall Super-C tractors’ fast-hitching abilities. In other words, this is a 67-year-old sport, and it’s still going on today! Originally, the performances only used narrow tractors, but groups like the Country Fest tractor square dancers have recently started adapting wider tractors as well.
The Middle Creek Tractor Swingers, a Pennsylvania farm show group, have some awesome performances, as well. Not only do they maneuver around each other, but they trade off partners on the go as well! That’s not only impressive, but also very dangerous. These drivers aren’t going slow, and if one of these dancers happened to fall off, they could easily find themselves between a tractor tire and some dirt.
It’s extremely impressive that these farmers have managed to keep this tradition alive. Even though it’s entertaining, the sport had to up the ante a bit for more excitement. Some of the recent events have featured things like themes, costumes, and even pyrotechnics.
It’s definitely a unique event, so i’d truly recommend finding your way out of the city and into the country to find one near you. Put it on your bucket list, and I promise you won’t be disappointed to bask in the culture for a little while.
This post was originally published on May 15, 2020.