Turin's tractor pull, parade on SaturdayBy SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
It’s time again for the annual Turin Antique Farm Power Show and Tractor Pull.
The 18th annual show, pull and parade will be held Saturday in Turin in southeast Coweta County on Highway 16. A street dance will be Friday from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The parade, featuring a wide array of antique tractors from fully-restored shiny show tractors to rustic workhorses, will begin at 10 a.m. The parade will end at the pulling grounds, where everyone will gather for a day of tractor pulling and races.
There will be pulling in several categories and weight classes. There will also be the “slow race,” and the ever-popular pedal race for kids.
In addition to the pull, tractors will be on display in the show area for visitors to admire. There will be awards, including Best Restored, Most Original, Best Paint and Ugliest Tractor.
There will be hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue and drinks and possibly baked goods. There will also be T-shirts for sale, in both gray and white. There are two T-shirt designs this year.
“They are really good looking shirts this year,” said Bill Banks, an event organizer. “They’re the best-looking shirts we’ve ever had.”
The show site will open at 6 p.m. on Friday for anyone wishing to bring their tractors early.
For more information, visit www.turintractorpull.com or call Bill Banks at 770-599-3611, Geoff Tinsley at 678-300-1168 or Joe Christopher at 678-300-4790.
The parade, pull, and show is organized by the Turin Antique Tractor Association. The street dance is sponsored each year by the town of Turin.
“It’s always a prelude to the tractor show,” said Turin Mayor Alan Starr. In addition to the dance with DJ Jim McKnight, there will be food vendors. Free vendor space is available, said Starr, as long as there is no competition with the existing food vendors.
Anyone wishing to set up a booth should call town hall at 770-599-0777.
There will be hot dogs, hamburgers and hot wings, as well as shaved ice, and the East Coweta High School Band Boosters will be selling drinks.
The street dance is a family event. “It’s a lot of fun,” Starr said. “Our whole goal for this event is to bring the community together,” he said. “What I would like to see is as much family participation as possible,” he said. “Everybody is welcome, and hopefully they’ll bring friends. The more, the merrier.”
This year’s parade grand marshal is Reuben Williams, who will be riding an antique farm wagon surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
Williams’ father, Carl Williams, bought the wagon in 1931. Williams’ wife, Sue, said the wagon was being soaked in the lake for a while to get it ready for the parade.
“My son-in-law will be pulling it with his tractor,” Williams said. “Hopefully, it will make the parade,” he said. “It might fall down on the way or something. It is so old. It’s like me, old,” he said with a smile.
Williams did most of his farming behind a mule. His parents, Carl and Hazel Williams, farmed their land on Carl Williams Road, where Reuben and Sue live today.
“I plowed a mule until I left home at 18 and joined the merchant marine,” Williams said. “And that’s the last farming I did, except for cattle.”
Williams had joined the merchant marine to do his part in World War II, but “shortly after I went into boot camp, the war was over,” he said.
After leaving the merchant marine, he came home and married Sue, his childhood sweetheart.
They moved to Elberton and then to Vicksburg, Miss., where Reuben learned to be a machinist. He came back to Coweta and worked at William L Bonnell Co. for many years.
His father had raised beef cattle, and Williams decided to, as well. “I had the land,” he said. He raised cattle for about 40 years, until the early 1990s.
Nowadays, Williams mostly uses his tractor to haul his wood splitter.
Sue and Reuben enjoy traveling and have visited every state except Alaska. They also went on a trip to the Pacific, visiting New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
When asked what the best place he visited was, Williams didn’t hesitate — New Zealand.
“I sailed around the world when I was in the merchant marine and there is no place like New Zealand,” he said.