MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Vintage tractor owners from across the region and beyond celebrated the history-making legacy of the machines during the 23rd annual Antique Tractor Days outside Didsbury last weekend.
The First Alberta Two Cylinder Club’s two-day event at the Didsbury ag society rodeo grounds featured tractor pulls in nine categories, with all tractors having to be built in 1960 or before.
In all, 86 tractors and about 45 competitors took part in this year's event, which included nine different weight classes ranging from under 2,500 pounds all the way up to 12,000 pounds.
The ultra flyweight (up to 2,500 pounds) and flyweight (2,500 to 3,000 pounds) categories were new this year.
Competitors themselves ranged in age from teens to 80s.
Mark Gardner is president of the First Alberta Two Cylinder Club. Celebrating the proud history of the agricultural machines is part of the reason Antique Tractor Days are held, he said.
“People don’t always realize that these old tractors are basically what helped to build Alberta, so we try to do our part and show that they can still pull really well,” Gardner said.
“We are here to preserve a lot of the heritage. A lot of the heritage is getting missed with these old tractors.”
Many of the tractor owners still operate their vintage machines on farm and ranch operations, he said.
“A lot of people do use them,” he said.
Maintaining the older machines is in some ways easier than maintaining modern tractors, he said.
“They were designed originally for farmers to fix them themselves, not like now where to fix a tractor you make a phone call,” he said.
Gardner noted that participants came from far and wide again this year.
“We have some from Saskatchewan and all across Alberta and many from here in Mountain View County,” said Gardner.
This year’s Antique Tractor Days enjoyed great summer weather conditions, with guests of all ages coming out to watch the action, he said.