Thousands crowded the streets of McConnellsburg for the sights and sounds of hundreds of antique tractors as they rolled down Lincoln Way East as part of the 38th annual Fulton Fall Folk Festival parade.
Sponsored by the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the parade was just one of dozens of events taking place in the area during the four-day event, which started Thursday and wraps up today.
Featuring antique and restored models of Allis-Chalmers, Farmall, John Deere and others, the parade route led the convoy to the Fulton County Fairgrounds, where they became an attraction at the Grease, Steam and Rust Association's 31st annual Antique Tractor, Small Engine and Machinery Show.
"We're well-known for our parades," said Paul Schmidt, an Orbisonia, Pa., native and founding member of the association that started in 1980.
Many regard the 90-minute procession as "one of the best ag parades in Pennsylvania," but Schmidt says he's attended agriculture conventions in the Midwest and even people from farming states such as Iowa and Ohio know the small south-central Pennsylvania town in Fulton County.
"People know McConnellsburg, Pa., because of this parade," Schmidt said.
Unlike some parades that get canceled due to rain or adverse weather conditions, the parade has run continuously since its inception through rain and even snow some years.
"I've gotten sun-burnt, been soaked and stood freezing in the snow," said 10-year parade announcer Brian Yeager of Chambersburg, Pa.
Leading the long line of farming equipment, six steam-powered tractors were featured in the parade, complete with their loud trainlike whistles and noisy primitive moving parts.
The steam tractors were the "lifebread of the community" up until the 1930s, when their more-modern successors went into production with gasoline- and diesel-powered engines, Schmidt said.
Brent Doub of Chambersburg piloted one of the steam tractors in the parade and hung around at the fairgrounds afterward to talk with fellow enthusiasts and locals. Getting interested in tractors and trains at a young age, Doub says the steam tractors are the "best of both worlds."
"There's a lot of nostalgia to them," he said. "I love it. It's a ton of fun."
Other attractions Saturday included a gun-and-knife show at McConnellsburg's American Legion Post 561, craft shows, car shows, and food and entertainment.
For more information and a complete schedule of today's events, go to www.fultoncountypa.com.