SUBLETTE — It was a tale of two weather days for the 40th annual Sublette Antique Tractor and Toy Show held March 19 and 20. The opening day was rainy, cool, and blustery but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the visitors who braved the conditions as they walked down Main Street. The first day of spring, brought sunshine on Sunday and gave everyone a better opportunity to wander around and gaze at the impressive variety of tractors including John Deere, New Holland, Case, Ford and International Harvester the featured brand of the event. Some classics were completely restored, while others were in original condition dating back to the 1940’s and 50’s.
If your passion is toys, five buildings including the Sublette Community Building, Ellice Dinges Center, and Farmers Elevator Shed were filled with miniature fun size tractors, trucks, and cars. Completely using up every square inch of the stage of the community building, father and son ‘Double Collectors’ as their business card states, displayed an incredible array of Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning, Greenlight, and Ertl cars, trucks, toys, and pedal cars, more than two thousand in all. You would think that it would take days to set up, but according to Randy Withrow that wasn’t the case.
“My father Paul and I have a good system of setting up and it only takes a couple of hours,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll sell a lot and the takedown will be even quicker.”
If you were looking to buy, items ranged in price from a buck to hundreds of dollars.
If you preferred something a little different there were choices for almost all tastes like; vintage Hesston Rodeo belt buckles. Homemade quilts, made to order decorative wood carvings, gourmet dog treats, and the old reliable Avon products. The passion and dedication of the participants wasn’t lost on first time show guest Shannon Sloane from Zionsville Indiana.
“I think that the extensive collections are very impressive and they seem to have a lot of time and money invested,” Sloane shared.
“It’s fun to see people’s hobbies and what they have to say and offer. I’m glad that I came.”
A 50-50 raffle, food booths run by the area 4-H clubs, a Fireman’s hosted Pancake Breakfast and the proceeds from this fundraiser, help benefit the community of approximately 450 residents. “Our slogan has been that we are ‘the small town with the big tractor and toy show,’” explained Sublette Village President John Stenzel. “We hope to carry on this tradition for many years to come.”