It may not be the hobby we city folk would pick up, but collecting classic tractors is gaining traction in rural America. “Classic Tractor Fever!” the RFD-TV entry in the 2013 Rose Parade had some pretty beautiful machines heading down Colorado Blvd. on New Year’s Day.
The RFD-TV float itself followed the 13 tractors. It was a two-parter, with a gigantic green machine hauling a field of wheat that features a stage with a windmill. Enormous shooting stars and ears of corn framed 24-foot-high stalks of wheat, and an American flag trailed behind. Yep, pure country!
Designed and built by Phoenix Decorating Company, the won the Tournament Special Trophy for the second year in a row. Last year’s float, “Happy Trails,” was an homage to Roy Rogers. It was preceded by 100 palominos, which did not work out quite so well as tractors. Click the link and watch the video, and you’ll see why.
For links to articles on award-winning floats as they are posted, bookmark “2013 Rose Parade floats: Award-winners, articles, and photos”
The reason for all the tractors was to celebrate that RFD-TV set the Guinness World record for a parade of classic tractors on Aug. 25, 2012 when 964 owners from 35 states converged on the track at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island. The tractors, which must be more than 30 years old, rounded the oval several times to win the accolade.
Nearly 20,000 Roses in yellow, orange, gold and peach and 30,100 white and red carnations were used on the float. The tractor, completely covered in botanical materials, was not really a tractor. It was custom-built on a chassis designed by Phoenix Decorating Company and built at the Rose Palace. The rear tires were 10 feet tall. The company said that it “will roll for the first time in the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade.” We’ll be on the lookout for it in 2014!
The theme of the 124th Rose Parade and 99th Rose Bowl Game was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” The Tournament of Roses is a celebration that lasts several weeks in the fall and winter, with the high points being the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day.
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