STANTON — The motto of this year’s Old Fashioned Days festival in Stanton might well have been “When Tractors Ruled the Earth.”
Certainly there was no dearth of antique horsepower on display, both prior to and during the festival’s parade Saturday.
At least a couple entries were of the steam-driven variety, though most were gas- and diesel-powered tractors, lovingly restored to like-new condition by their owners.
In addition to the seemingly endless procession of tractors, the Old Fashioned Days parade also featured marching bands, clowns, a color guard — courtesy of area American Legion of VFW posts — and, of course, the usual assortment of businesses, politicians and queens, princesses and other hometown “royalty.”
Back again for a reprise performance was the popular Ultimate Air Dog Event. Dozens of dogs and their owners competed to see which canine could leap the farthest over a swimming pool to retrieve a favorite toy. German shepherds, labs and a bunch more of less determinate breeds leapt to glory throughout the weekend to the cheers of appreciative audience members.
“We’ve had a lot of people here watching each event,” said Sandy Keeler, one of the event organizers. “The bleachers were full and people were standing everywhere.”
Old Fashioned Days also featured live music on the downtown free stage all weekend long. Acts included the Center Stage Band, the Country Legends and Chris Holden.
A car show, sidewalk sales, an enormous “bounce house” playground and dozens of food vendors rounded out the annual event.
Ionia resident Mary Russell, who was in town with her two daughters, said this was her third time coming to the festival.
“The girls really enjoyed the dog jumping,” Russell said. “The parade was also good this year. The girls really love it all.”