If you were looking to pinch someone not wearing green on this St. Patrick’s Day, you would have been out of luck at the River Center in Davenport, Iowa, where there was a sea of green hats, shirts, pins, coats … and tractors.
That was the location of the Gathering of the Green show, a volunteer-run, biennial premier event for John Deere two-cylinder and New Generation enthusiasts and collectors. It was quite a gathering, holding true to the theme, “Where Friends Meet.” The show was held March 17-20, 2010.
|Club members Dick Buckwoldt, Don McKinley and Marvin Huber.|
The event is organized and hosted by four clubs:
• Deer Valley Collectors Club
• Illinois Valley Two-Cylinder Club
• North Eastern Illinois Two-Cylinder Club
• Northwest Illinois Two-Cylinder Club
I have the privilege to know many of the club members who are responsible for the Gathering and they are all a great hard-working bunch.
The professional-looking displays are set up specifically for this conference by the volunteers.
|Click the image above
for a larger version.
The Deer Valley Collectors Club sponsors several special programs that involve young tractor enthusiasts. One is called Young Hands, Big Projects. According to member Dorothy Bockwoldt of Dixon, Iowa, kids or grandkids of members are invited to participate. They work alongside their dads or grandpas to restore a tractor or implement and learn the process from top to bottom. They keep a record book and pictures of their experience, and when the projects and books are completed, the participant receives a cash prize. It’s a good learning experience and keeps the younger generation involved in the hobby.
The schedule for the show offered over 70 vendors with John Deere related items, parts, decals, manuals, tires, paintings, etc.
There were also seminars, workshops and tours available to the over 2,200 registrants who attended (including 37 from foreign countries).
Tuesday and Wednesday, Deere & Co. sponsored a Memorabilia Conference and Saturday Jeff McManus of Heartland Auction held a memorabilia auction with Dennis Polk as the auctioneer.
Al Hain and Clem Demmin of the Western New York Two-Cylinder Club discovered a photo op to record the tall and the short of it all at the show. Here I am with Leo “Stretch” Wagner of the New York club.
A banquet on Saturday night was a nice way to close the show with about 450 participating. Thanks to all the volunteers for a nice show to attend and see old friends. My only complaint is that it is only held every other year and not yearly, but I am certain the volunteers are glad to have a little more time to plan and rest.
See www.gatheringofthegreen.com for more details.
See you down the road!