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  • Fairbury News staff

Tractor drive heading to Fairbury

The weekend forecast in Fairbury calls for plenty of tractors.

A summertime tradition that originated around Sibley will head to Fairbury late Saturday morning.

The annual Sibley Burr Oaks Area Tractor Drive raises money for the American Cancer Society in what has become known as a “drive to fight cancer.” In fact, the drive is led by a tractor known as the Purple Cancer Eater, which is a restored Farmall.

Registration for the drive takes place from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Down by the Lake bar in Sibley then they will head northwest toward southern Livingston County, parading past the Zehr farm before stopping at Ziegenhorn Timber at 10:30 a.m. Then, the route proceeds into town past Fairview Haven Nursing Home just before lunch.

“We are going to parade past the villa area,” explains organizer Russ Tjarks.

Drivers will then go downtown to the Fairbury VFW for lunch around noon where they will honor three different drivers who they lost over the past year. They will hold drawings which include a donated pedal tractor signed by Max Armstrong, a 50/50 and silent auction. Local veterans will also be honored over lunch.

“Our featured tractor this year will be the Model D of John Deere which is a 100-year-old tractor,” notes Tjarks.

Following the VFW stop, the tractors will drive past Dave’s Supermarket and head out of town to the Kilgus Farmstead Country Store for an ice cream treat before proceeding to the Strawn Park and back to Sibley to end the day.

Tjarks got the idea for the drive after participating in a tractor drive up north in 2004 with Max Armstrong after a tornado tore through Utica. All of the drivers took up a collection to donate to the victims.

“I got the idea then to start up a tractor drive here because my sister had cancer and I was going to do it on her behalf,” explained Tjarks.

What was originally intended to be a one-time event, is now in its 19th year in the Sibley area.

“We are pretty well devoted to doing it,” added Tjarks.

For more information on registering or buying advance tickets, contact Tjarks at 217-249-2377.

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