Friday last week brought the news that the North Iowa Tractor Ride will usher in 200 “vintage and restored tractors” to Vinton July 23-25 as they make their way through neighboring counties and rest back in town each night.
“We are really excited to have the 2020 North Iowa Tractor Ride in Vinton this July,” Melissa Schwan, Director of Vinton Unlimited said. “Jamie Nelson, our contact, approached me earlier this spring and winter asking if we’d be a host. They’ve never been in our area before.”
Nelson is the coordinator for the ride and Sales Manager for sponsor 98.7 Kiss Country. Vinton was decided upon after the first proposed route was not “up to par” for the ride. According to Nelson, the riders expect “a certain amount of scenery, hills, curves and topography” that Vinton and the surrounding area provided.
“My brother lives in Vinton, so I’d been to the area and knew it was quite pretty,” Nelson said. “I did a little more exploring and found it to be exactly what I was looking for.”
Vinton Unlimited assisted in finding a place for the 200 riders to park when they arrive, According to Schwan. Riders will arrive on Thursday night or earlier and set up at the fairgrounds. Here in town, they’ll have a check in process, take part in an evening meal, and are encouraged to explore Vinton. Friday will see the ride travel to Brandon, La Porte City, Hickory Hills Park and Dysart. On Saturday, the riders will make their way through Urbana, Center Point and Palo before heading back to Vinton one last time for the 2020 ride.
“We have riders that have never missed a ride — many repeat riders, but we always pick up a few new riders as well,” Nelson said. “We have riders that come from as far as Louisiana. Other states including Kansas, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and of course Iowa.”
Next, Nelson and the eight to 10 staff members will secure stops and host for meals along the ride. Vinton Unlimited will host a meeting with the tractor ride organizers and the other towns sometime in March. Nelson and the staff will answer questions about the ride. Schwan hopes this meeting will help get everyone “all kind of be on the same page” about expectations and planning well ahead of the big day in July.
“This ride is great exposure and showing off our community,” Schwan said. “We’re going to receive promotion throughout the state and country. Maybe some people are looking to retire and move to a different community or maybe they’d consider telling their families about our community. “Our goal is really positive promotion of our community on that Thursday evening when they come to make a great first impression.”
North Iowa Tractor Ride maps, hotel accommodations and applications are available at northiowatractorride.com