(Be sure to check these all out with the COVID-19 causing cancellations)
It’s that time! Time to set your antique tractor calendar for farm and toy shows for 2020! While some are busy making their New Year’s Resolutions collectors are setting their show schedules. I checked with some other tractor enthusiasts and they reached out to help me find some of their favorite shows!
Gateway Mid-America Toy Show
There are shows and then there are shows! If you like farm toy shows, one of the best that I know of is the Gateway Mid-America Toy Show. The Gateway Mid-America Toy Show takes place in St. Louis, Missouri the first full weekend in February. With over 150 dealers you can find farm, truck and construction toys, as well as Nascar collectibles, banks, crafts and more.
The event includes an auction and a wonderful scratch built model and farm layout contest. Held at the Westport Sheraton the show is well attended and here you can see models, memorabilia and items that you won’t see anywhere else. There are several floors to see including room to room trading as well as display rooms. Keith and I even set up at this show, I offer my books, and Keith has a few (note that is few) of his collectibles as he cleans house once a year!
National Farm Machinery Show
Although you will just see a smattering of antique tractors at the National Farm Machinery Show, February 12-15, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky, you will find 3-Point Ink’s Sherry Schaefer and other collectors at this the largest farm show in the US. Farmworld where I write a column Wrenching Tales also has a presence at this show. I have only been a couple times, but this mega show is quite amazing. Held in Louisville, Kentucky you will see a wide array of farm machinery and what is new in the world of farming! This is where the big tractor Championship pull is as well so for those that are big pulling fans, Louisville is the place to be! Add this one to your antique tractor calendar.
Besides being an awesome tractor show and flea market, the Florida Flywheelers in Avon Park, Florida, is also an excuse for northerners like myself to head south! For years we have traveled to Florida with our friends the Elliotts.
The Florida Flywheelers grounds each February is a huge flea market, and antique tractor show combined. This year’s show is held February 19-22 2020. This fun in the sun show offers a cool village that is a Mecca to antique tractor collectors seeking reprieve from the north’s harsh winter weather. The show has a daily parade and several themed buildings like a Ford building etc.
Last year the featured brand was International Harvester and Beth Elliott and I got to drive in the parade, what fun!
Note that the grounds are huge and if you don’t reserve a golf cart ahead, you may want to bring something to ride around on. It is part of the fun to watch all the neat conveyances at this show!
Gathering of the Green – Note this has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus.
How cool is the Gathering of the Green, a show dedicated to everything John Deere Green? The Gathering comes around every two years to Davenport, Iowa where collectors immerse themselves in everything to do with the agricultural giant that has been making history in the Quad Cities year after year. Jessica Waytenick of the Visit Quad Cities reminded me to share with my readers that this big show is coming soon!
The Gathering of the Green is March 18-21, 2020 and one of the biggest draws for me is the artistic placing of equipment all over the River Center . Beautiful hotels like the historic Blackhawk that we stay in are even decorated. I also love the fact that there are tours at the historic Blackhawk as well.
The Gathering of the Green offers workshops, vendors, trips/tours, speakers and displays all centering around John Deere! Richard Hain of Green Magazine is always set up at this event as well!
Le Sueur Swap Meet
There is nothing quite like this spring Le Sueur Swap Meet show in Le Sueur, Minnesota! April 24-26, 2020 is when this event will take place. I have been a couple times. I am always surprised by what you find. We never know if we will be attending or not, it just depends on the fieldwork.
In 2017 it worked out so we headed north. There were approximately 700 vendors set up with a lot of ground to cover. When we were there, we walked seven miles and had not seen it all! If you want to attend a fun event where anything goes, the Le Sueur Swap meet is it!
Tri-State Gas Engine Tractor Association Swap Meet
May 13-16, 2020 is the date of an event held in Portland, Indiana’s Jay County. I spent many years avoiding, the Tri-State Gas Engine Tractor Association Swap Meet. For year’s Keith talked about this event. He used the words “antique engine and tractor parts only”.
I have to admit I wasn’t too enthused. I have often said to other collectors that “I don’t do parts”. However that year, the crops were in the ground and it had been a while since we had got away together and he had an inkling to go to the swap meet. I could go, or not, I chose to go. They have everything at this amazing event.
There are little campfires where collectors stand by fires sharing their wares. You see a bit of absolutely everything from signs, to lawn and garden tractors to you name it.
Note that this same club has an amazing show in August. This year they will hold their 54th show August 20-24th. They have over 800 tractors at this event. It is huge!
Lincoln’s New Salem – Antique Farm Show 2020
Friend and collector Rich Shaw who runs the Antique Iron Mafia Facebook page said that one of his favorite shows is the Antique Farm show the first weekend of May at New Salem Illinois. This historic site where Abraham Lincoln spent part of his formative years is a lovely spot for a farm show! “Learning about Lincoln, having the opportunity to experience the park. The reconstruction of the buildings. That park is just a pleasant place, ” Rick said.
AJ’s Garden Tractor Jamboree
Lawn and Garden enthusiast Dave Carton has been talking about AJ’s Garden Tractor Jamboree for years. I have been trying to get to this Oregon, Illinois show for years and failed. Maybe this will be the year I will make it! Held May 16th, this looks like a fun event for those that like the lawn and garden variety tractors.
Dave has never steered me wrong yet so I am sure this is a stellar event! I have seen some of AJ’s cool machinery in the past and it was way cool!
Macoupin County Antique Tractor Show
Better known by many as the Strawberry Festival, this event is as much an eating festival as a tractor show. Held the 3rd weekend in May the show is at the Anderson Mansion grounds of the Macoupin County Historical Society in Carlinville, Illinois. Food is tops. With the homemade chicken and noodles, strawberries and more, this is an eat your way through the day event.
I love the fact that you can also tour the beautiful mansion, listen to music, and check out crafts at the flea market. You might even see Old Abe walking around. This is a true kick back and enjoy event. It is usually our opening into the tractor show season. If you can’t make the spring event, they do it all over again the 3rd weekend in September!
Pawnee Prairie Days Antique Tractor Show
Rick Shaw also liked the Pawnee Prairie Days antique tractor show for small town charm. Since Pawnee, Illinois is my home town, I have to admit to being a bit biased about this small, but fun event that happens the first Saturday in June every year. That’s just a great show. Mostly because of the great friends that come for it.
Allis Connection Father’s Day Weekend Show – This show appears to be a go!
Dave Carton mentioned the Allis Connection Father’s Day Weekend Show. Keith and I have attended this event and enjoyed it. Keith would be willing to travel to the Amana Colonies, Iowa at any time for any reason, but bring tractors into the mix and you have a really good reason. For a tractor enthusiast, what a great place to celebrate Father’s Day! Held on Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21, 2020 in Middle Amana what fun!
Morgan County Antique Machinery Show
This one has been on my radar and I haven’t made it yet, but hope to soon! Tosha Daugherty, of Visit Morgan County Indiana said that this is a great event. She even offered an array of reasons to go to this event held June 22-23, 2020 at the Morgan County Fair Grounds. She said there is a treasure trove of farm toys in addition to the life sized models.
Collectors will share how their tractors work, share their stories with you. Steam engines, a swap meet and homemade ice cream along with machinery demonstrations add to the fun!
Red Power Round UP – This has been rescheduled to Aug. 8-Aug. 10, 2020 due to uncertainties of COVID-19.
Like the Gathering of the Green the Red Power Round Up is a chance for International Harvester Collectors to enjoy everything Farmall Red! This year is the 31st Annual Red Power Round Up. The show will be held June 25 – June 27, 2020 at the South Dakota State Fair grounds in Huron, South Dakota.
I love this show because they have a great array of tours associated with the show and offer a wonderful selection of IH things to see. At the 2015 show I saw Buddy Woodson’s cool Triple A! Buddy placed three A’s together. You never know what you will find.
At this the 31st annual celebration look for tractors, engines, trucks, and equipment. Attendees can also browse exhibits which include household appliances, milking equipment, and toy collections. There is nothing quite like the Red Power Round Up for IH collectors! Dennis & Sallie Meisner of Red Power Magazine are usually on hand too!
Historic Farm Days – This has been cancelled.
Penfield, Illinois’s Historic Farm Days holds a dear place in my heart. It is here that I met my dear friend Darius Harms who is now gone. I have met so many good friends at this wonderful show. The show is put on by the I & I Antique Gas Engine Club standing for Illinois and Indiana. This year they are featuring Minneapolis Moline and the show will be the Prairie Gold Rush Summer convention. So anyone that loves the Minnie Mo’s, this is the show for you!
The dates and times for this years show will be Thursday July 9 thru Sunday July 12 , 2020 from 7am to 6pm. President of the Club said, “We are featuring Minneapolis Moline along with the Prairie Gold Rush summer show and the National B.F. Avery summer show. We hope to see you at the show!”
The first day is always my favorite because it is not too crowded and collectors often have time to talk and share information about their great machinery. The show has a wonderful agricultural museum, buildings to go through, trails to drive and so much to see and do, this is always a must go to show for us every year.
American Thresherman Show
I was born in Pinckneyville, Illinois so I already have a sentimental link to The American Thresherman Show. This is one of the oldest shows around (and that was not a hint about my age since I was born in Pinckneyville either!)
This year will be the 61st Annual Show, Gas & Threshing Show. They are featuring the John Deere Southern Illinois Green Iron Club Oddballs & Orphans. Empire Tractor Owners Club Expo 2020. The show will be August 12-16, 2020.
My friend Annie Jansen and her family camp at the show and I always have a blast meeting up with her there each August. I swear you can find almost any rare tractor at this show, they have the unusual and different features every year.
Last summer I went to tour nearby Rendleman Orchards to see their new Zinna field and see the peach orchard. After our tour, my friend Rose Hammitt and I had a sponsored stay at Cave Creek Cabins. I must say, this is not far from Pinckneyville and if you are looking for a neat place to stay while attending the show, this was a wonderful cabin! The orchard makes a cool stop too if you are wanting fresh fruit before heading back home!
Pontiac Central States Thresherman’s Reunion
The Pontiac Central States Thresherman’s Reunion held in Pontiac, Illinois should be added at some time to your antique tractor calendar. This is a mainstay that we have been to many times. Started in 1949, this is the 2nd oldest steam show in the US! We will be there with bells on this year because the features will be: Ford, David Bradley, and (my husband’s favorite) the Graham Bradley National Show!
National Farm Toy Show
There are other shows in between September and November for sure, but the National Farm Toy Show is the Grandaddy Toy Show of them all! Always held the 1st weekend in November, the entire town of Dyersville, Iowa is taken over by toy collectors. The National Farm Toy Museum, Beckman High School and Commercial Park are all filled with farm toys.
I usually find some cool history in Dyersville and maybe even a Christmas present or two!
Vendors are set up outside for this weekend event as well. There is a farm layout contest and the show is sponsored by Toy Farmer Magazine.
If you enjoy farm toys, this is the event for you!
SEMO Farm Toy Show
Finish out the toy season with Charlotte Angotti’s suggestion, the SEMO farm toy show. Keith and I stopped by this fun packed show a couple years ago. Located in Sikeston, Missouri at the Day’s Inn December 11-12 2020!
Is your calendar full?
These are just a few of the shows we love. I couldn’t list them all! There are also the Vintage Farm Equipment show in Atkinson, Illinois, the AE-TA show in Geneseo and the Labor Day show in Edgerton, Wisconsin.
Note that this is the off year for the Half Century of Progress, but make sure to keep your August 2021 calendar updated for this event as it unfolds. You don’t want to miss the world’s largest working farm show!
There are too many to shows to share here in one blog! But let me know if we covered your favorites, or if we missed a few! We love traveling the Midwest and countryside checking out new and different shows and finding new equipment companies and stories to share with our readers!