Petersburg tractor parade touts antiques, 1910 steamboat showcase


PETERSBURG, Neb. -- Walt Hoefer of Albion operates and owns a steamboat from 1910. This weekend, he was able to showcase it at the Rae Valley Heritage Association's 39th annual Nebraska State Antique Tractor and Horse Plowing Bee.

“It’s interesting how somebody could build this in 1910 with no modern technology; I mean the engineering is just amazing,” said Hoefer. 

The weekend festivities offered a stage for Hoefer to share his historical machine; for older farmers to connect over how their equipment has changed; and for kids to get interested in the equipment.

Around 35 vendors also were there, selling vintage toys and candy. The steamboat was just one of the 53 tractors in the $20,000 parade —never mind the 300 other tractors at the auction and other festivities — with volunteers bringing machines from as far as Iowa according to event organizers.

“We started out with an auction that usually runs two hours but lasted three or four,” said Treasurer Larry Petsche. “And this year our sponsorship was full, but it hadn’t been for maybe 10 years.”

He and others say their favorite part of the activities is meeting other people.

“It’s like a reunion,” said Petsche.