Saturday show celebrates farm life

Published 12:44 am Friday, May 13, 2011

Stan Hudson is committee chairman for this weekend’s Antique Tractor Show, to be presented in Chocowinity by the Eastern Antique Power Association. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

CHOCOWINITY – In 1996, a handful of area men determined to preserve farming heritage organized what was to become the Eastern Antique Power Association.

On Saturday, that core group and those who joined the club over subsequent years will host the 15th-annual Antique Tractor Show in Chocowinity.

The show’s committee chairman and a club founder, Stan Hudson, will again host the event at his home and showgrounds on Bear Creek Road. Other founding members were Dan Wallace, Jim Hudson, Johnny Moore, Jesse Tripp, Michael Bowen, James Baker, Bryan Douglas, Johnny Woolard, James Cole and David Anderson.

Membership in the association has swelled to around 50 active farm enthusiasts, Hudson said.

“We had our first meeting at the Golden Corral restaurant in Washington,” he recalled. “We all wanted to preserve antique farm equipment and keep our farming heritage alive, to show our younger generations how farming used to be done.”

The association continues to meet on a monthly basis, gathering at area restaurants or members’ homes. The group’s main project is the planning and execution of the annual tractor show, which Hudson said is much more than just an exhibit of farming equipment.

“We’ll have the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m., and after that there will be displays of antique tractors and antique engines,” Hudson said. “There will also be a parade of power, kids’ pedal tractor races and pedal tractor pull and the slowest tractor race.”

The schedule will include a fundraising auction, with fresh baked goods and donated items up for bid, Hudson said. Among the auction items will be such useful tools as grease guns, jumper cables and cases of motor oil, and homemade cakes of every description.

The day’s festivities offer something for everyone, even the youngest members of the family. There will be a “bouncy house” for children and a barrel train ride, and music enthusiasts will enjoy country, bluegrass and gospel tunes by a local band, Unshackled.

The Antique Tractor Show is offered to the public at a price that can’t be beat.

“With the economy the way it is, this is a really good deal,” Hudson said. “It’s a free, fun day, and there will be stuff for everybody in the family.”

Those looking for collectibles from the past will want to peruse the offerings of antique vendors, who usually offer everything from tin advertising signs to gas pumps and other farm-related items. And there’s no need for anyone to go hungry since hot dogs, pizza, homemade ice cream, flavored shaved ice and soft drinks will be sold, Hudson added.

The Eastern Antique Power Association is comprised of members from Beaufort, Bertie, Washington, Pitt, Martin, Edgecombe and Onslow counties. The club is always on the lookout for new members, and annual dues are an affordable $35 a person.

“You don’t have to own a lot of antique equipment to join,” Hudson said. “You just have to be interested in antique farm heritage, in general.”

Along with its own show, the association is active in local Christmas parades and special events held in conjunction with Historic Bath State Historic Site. Members also participate in Martin County’s Farm Heritage Days, and each October they host a special show just for children and adults with special needs.

For more information about the club or this weekend’s show, contact Hudson at 252-945-6150 or association President Matt Sopher at 252-944-3551.

Directions: From Chocowinity, take N.C. Highway 33 west toward Greenville; go approximately two miles and look for a club sign, where one turns right onto Bear Creek Road. The show will be held seven-tenths of mile on the right.