Tractor Square Dance

Fall is starting to crackle in our neck of the woods… finally. Last week I wore long sleeves, stared out my front window through thick drips of condensation, and crunched over leaves on my walk across town. I am still waiting for the leaves to melt into the deepest oranges and reds and sunset yellows, but they are coming. A few bright trees pop out from the green like balloons of color dotting the hills and the streets. I’m ready. Bring on fall.

I have been waiting for cool weather and pumpkin everything and the magic of a season shifting into something new. Part of it is because last year at this time we were in Alaska and fall had already faded into the onset of winter by October. It was thick frost, bursts of snow, and cold temperatures. Last week in Fairbanks, AK it was 15 degrees. In Carlisle it was in the 50s.

But I have to say I am happy that fall stretches out so long here. I am looking forward to enjoying every minute of crisp air and colorful tree. So when we realized that Lucas’ parents visit would coincide with The National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville, PA, it seemed like an appropriate fall activity to attend.

The festival is in fact more like a fair, long rows of vendors pedaling fried food and crafts, a 4H barn, a classic car show, and a variety of musical performances and family friendly activities. It was a beautiful day, sunny and cool, and the place was packed.

But the thing I most loved: the Tractor Square Dance.

Yep. Put on by the Middle Creek Tractor Swingers this amazing show is just want the title portrays. Tractors square dancing. There are “male” tractors, a little bit larger, and “female” tractors, a little bit smaller. To start they lined up on the outside edges of the fenced off “dance floor” with their partner and the caller proceeded to progress them through a series of square dances.

My favorite tractor was Rosie,  a little pink two-seater, driven by the only woman in the show. The other “female” tractors were driven by men dressed up as women. Rosie, made tight, clean turns, and anchored many of the difficult dance “steps.” One of the most impressive moves was when Rosie and another female tractor moved to the center and pivoted on one wheel in a circle as other tractors joined in a  long line swinging around the floor like the hands of a clock pointed at 12 and 6. Seeing tractors glide across the dirt is what I imagine it would be like to watch football players dance ballet, strange yet surprisingly entertaining. A wonderful fall weekend!


One Comment on “Tractor Square Dance”

  1. This is heart-warming, to say the least. Pennsylvania is far more beautiful than many give it credit for being. That is an awesomely inventive way to celebrate farm life.


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