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Above, the Shelton family — Danielle, Ethan, Michael, Grant, and Ellie, along with family friend Jewel Williams — enjoyed the ride in a covered wagon decorated with fox skins hanging from the rafters above. The wagon was full of passengers by 10 a.m. when the tractor parade began. Farm machines and antique vehicles head down Broad Street en route to Hupps Mill Plaza. (Liza Fulton photos)
SoVaNow.com / May 03, 2021
Dozens of tractors paraded through the streets of South Boston on Saturday morning to preview the upcoming Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival, set for May 7-8 at the county fairgrounds.

Families and tractor enthusiasts arrived from all over Halifax and Pittsylvania counties Saturday morning to either drive their machines in the parade or hitch a ride in. The morning air at the fairgrounds staging area was a bit chilly as the line-up took place around 9:30 a.m.

Bobby Conner of Nathalie, longtime member of the Heritage Festival Committee and event organizer, brought his trademark enthusiasm to the gathering of antique tractors and vintage automobiles. “We are just country folk having worthwhile family event,” he said.

It was a bumpy ride down the dirt road behind South Boston Speedway to Plywood Trail as the tractors steered cleared of busy traffic on Route 360 at the entrance to the track. Tractors motored through neighborhoods on Eastover Drive, Vaughan Street, and Marshall Avenue as they made their way to Seymour Drive.

From Seymour Drive to Broad Street, parade participants were greeted with cheers and waves from people shopping at the South Boston Farmers Market. A few other spectators joined in along Broad Street and the tractors and classic cars made their way single-file to Hupps Mill Plaza. As Broad Street narrowed into one lane, large farm equipment and modern-day automobiles converged toward one another. With the assistance of the South Boston Police Department, the farmers took the lead and were able to maintain their caravan.

Everyone took a break for coffee and donuts at Windmill Bakery at Hupps Mill Plaza while folks came by to check out the vehicles. Many of the spectators asked questions about the antique tractors and classic cars. Children enjoyed climbing onto the driver’s seat of big John Deer tractors.

After leaving the shopping center, the parade continued to Tractor Supply to sit a spell, then the tractors putt-putted back through South Boston for a last stop at Constitution Square.

The Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival opens Friday, at 9 a.m. and continues on Saturday,from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The festival offers two full days of wholesome entertainment for families.



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