Red Roundup wraps up

Published 9:49 am Monday, June 27, 2011

Bruce Jensen, president of the Minnesota chapter of the International Harvester Collectors Club, rides atop the Red Power Express Friday at the start of a parade at the National Red Power Roundup at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

It was a wild time at the Freeborn County Fair Grandstand.

More than 100 tractors and other farm equipment were on display Friday, the second day of the 22nd annual National Red Power Roundup.

Red Power Roundup organizer Bruce Jensen, the president of the Minnesota chapter of the International Harvester Collectors Club, estimated that at the height of the day there would be 20,000 people in attendance. Spectators almost filled the Freeborn County Fair Grandstand to see the farm equipment parade.

Email newsletter signup

“This is very, very overwhelming for me right now,” Jensen said of all the people. “I never expected this.”

A International Farmall 1256 turbo owned by Tony Scepaniak of Holdingford, Minn. -- Garrett Wampler/Albert Lea Tribune

After thanking people for coming out to the weekend event, Jensen climbed on top of the special Red Power Express, an old-fashioned stagecoach led by two horses. A puppet, operated by a passenger below, waved at the crowds.

After the stagecoach went through, the tractors just kept coming.

Linda Klein, merchandise manager for Chapter 15 of the International Harvester Collectors Club, said there were at least 130 participating tractors and other International pieces of equipment, from yellow International Cub Cadets to International Scouts, demonstrator tractors and everything in between.

Bob Gunn, of Tipton, Tenn., called the show a “nice” one.

He came to Albert Lea with four other campers and was staying overnight out at the KOA campgrounds east of the city, on his way to South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore. He’s been an International Harvesters collector for about 15 years.

“The most enjoyable part is just seeing the different tractors,” Gunn said. “I also have gotten to see some old friends, people I hadn’t seen in a while.”

Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Susie Petersen said she’s heard nothing but good comments from people visiting the show.

“They said this town is the best they’ve been,” Petersen said of how welcoming the community has been to the visitors.

On Friday, vendors could be seen with long lines, and parking lots at local hotels and restaurants were full. Hotels were booked throughout town, with people staying in hotels in surrounding communities such as Mason City, Iowa, Faribault, Owatonna and Austin as well.

Organizers hoped to see more than 2,000 tractors at the fairgrounds over the weekend.