I think anyone who has been to or heard about the Half Century of Progress gets excited when they hear the big show is just around the corner. Held at the Rantoul National Aviation Center Airport Rantoul, Illinois, the 2015 Half Century of Progress will be held August 27- 30, 2015. The show takes place at the former Chanute Airforce Base which is home to the Chanute Air Museum. This event occurs every two years the same time that the Farm Progress Show is in Decatur, Illinois. The Half Century is the predecessor to the Farm Progress Show which features the latest in technology and other aspects of farming. The Half Century shares what was new 50 years ago and in this case that was 1965.
Besides featuring farming equipment from 1965, the Half Century also celebrates equipment from any year preceding 1965 this includes the whole ball of wax and what is the very best part of this amazing show is you can watch the equipment in action, you can see how farming was done back when. If nothing else, you get a true appreciation of the efforts farmers put in both then and today to bring food to the table.
People “want to see the equipment working,” Darius Harms the show’s manager said. “Most shows, they just see it sitting there. We’re really fortunate to be able to demonstrate this equipment.”
I love seeing the old steam engines with their billowing smoke against a blue sky and this year the Prairie Plowers are the special feature bringing plowing demonstrations with horses, steam, diesel and more. “The powerful Prairie Plowers include the prairie tractors that busted the west,” Darius Harms said.
These powerful tractors ran on gasoline and keorsone and visitors will see six or eight of these mighty beauties. The plowers will include at least three steam engines. Antique tractor collectors will watch the rare view of a variety of multiple hitch plows of all sizes and types being pulled with multiple hitch tractors of all makes and models from the large tractors to the smaller sizes.
Get your cameras ready and prepare for a day of dust, moving machinery and the beautifully orchestrated chaos of what has come to be known as the largest working farm show in America. On Thursday, August 27th, the show begins with famed broadcaster Max Armstrong heading up the tractor drive. Then the show will open with the raising of the World’s Largest Flying Flag set to the background of the National Anthem.
To see the official countdown check out the clock showing how many days, hours, minutes and seconds until the show on the website http://www.halfcenturyofprogress.com