Vintage farm tractors to be a highlight of Dowagiac’s fall festival

DOWAGIAC —  Owners of vintage farm machinery and collectors of antique farm toys are invited to display their units in downtown Dowagiac Saturday, Oct. 13, as this community hosts its annual Under the Harvest Moon festival.

Dowagiac’s autumn festival is presented by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce.  Corporate and in-kind sponsors of the event are: Accounting Consultants, Creative Vinyl Signs, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Kim MacGregor’s office of Edward Jones, Forest Glen Assisted Living, Hale’s Hardware, J&H Oil Company, Leader Publications, Mennel Milling of Michigan, Preferred Printing, Skibbe Business & Tax Service, Smoke Vision Care, Southwestern Michigan College, Town and Country Garden Club and William’s A-1 Expert Tree Service.

Vickie Phillipson, event chairman and program director for the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority, has invited to the festival members of the Michiana Two-Cylinder Club and other collectors of antique farm tractors, along with Ausra Equipment of Dowagiac, which for the fifth year will be displaying two of its new and oversized units downtown. 

Now in its eighth year, Under the Harvest Moon brings together collectors of antique farm tractors from Cass and Berrien counties, and an open-air marketplace of Michigan-grown produce, autumn mums, handmade products and antiques.

“New this year, we are also looking for collectors of antique farm toys, who would like to put their treasured pieces on display within one or two storefront windows,” Phillipson said.

Festival organizers anticipate having 25 to 30 vintage tractors on display, ranging from a Model A 1937 John Deere to a 1955 Minneapolis Moline BG and a 1942 Farmall. There will also be units from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.  Showing their vintage tractors will be Jan Arndt, Jesse Bement, Vic Cuthbert Jr., Matt Dohm, Chuck Ernst, Chuck Martensen, Phil Meiser and Bob Walker, all of Dowagiac; John Hewitt, Berrien Center; Vic Adams, Eau Claire; and Jim Dlouhy, Stevensville.

The one-day autumn festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., features an array of family events from wool spinning and wood sculpting demonstrations to children’s games and crafts, pumpkin decorating, an animal petting farm, horse-drawn wagon rides and cardio drumming for adults.  There will also be dance performances, live music by the Van Dyke Revue and street musician Rene Meave, and the Taste of Michigan Wine & Craft Brew.

Phillipson said owners of vintage tractors may place their units on display at the event free of charge, however, for planning purposes they are asked to register their units in advance with the Chamber of Commerce.  Collectors of antique farm toys should also contact Phillipson to learn more about putting their finds on display.

People who would like to sign up for commercial booth space to sell their wares, should call the Chamber of Commerce at (269) 782-8212 for more information or by e-mail at vphillipson@Dowagiac.org  For a full list of festival activities, visit DowagiacChamber.com

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