Ohio can't be the only place where things like this happen. I'm sure there are plenty of other farming communities that hold dusty county fairs with delicious fried food, antique machinery shows where rusty engines belch acrid smoke, and, yes, even the occasional tractor square dance.
I'm sure these other places exist… I've just never been to any outside of Ohio.
A Tractor Square Dance
Where I grew up and where I live now, farming is a big deal. Most of the high school kids are involved in 4-H, and “Drive Your Tractor to School Day” isn't celebrated in jest. That's just simply rural Ohio for you.
So, when I heard about a “Tractor Square Dance” happening at the fairgrounds in Findlay, I was not the least bit surprised. I was, however, intrigued. What could possibly happen at a tractor square dance? I had to go find out.
As it turns out, a tractor square dance is exactly what it's marketed as – people astride tractors performing choreography to square dancing music, dance caller and all. It was actually very impressive what these 16 performers were able to do on lumbering antique tractors. The tractor square dance was definitely worth my $4 admission fee and and hour of my Saturday night.
Here's the video of the big event:
And here are some photos to check out:
So, is this a high-brow, enlightening travel experience? Absolutely not. But sometimes it's the quirky little gems like this that really give a place or region its character. This is rural Ohio. It's probably rural-a-lot-of-other-places, too, but I'll forever associate the county fairs and tractor square dances with my little piece of the midwest.
If you ever have the chance to go to a tractor square dance in some backwoods little farming town, I highly recommend it. If nothing else, at least you'll have a really random story to tell your friends.
(And no, no overalls or flannel shirts required! Only recommended.)
Have you ever seen anything like this where you live?