By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News
The clouds parted, and a cool breeze dried the grass after heavy rains last week just in time for Music on Main in Central Park on Friday, June 22.
The Main Street Mt. Pleasant event, formerly known as Rock Around the Block, brought a carefree crowd to show off their tractors, participate in a pedal tractor pull or just enjoy listening to Whiskey Friends perform.
?Everything else was rained out this week but this,? said Kristi Ray, executive vice president of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance.
Traffic cones blocked off East Monroe Street where new tractors from Sinclair were displayed and old tractors were shown off by members of the Big Creek Tractor Club. Walter Church, of Salem, sat on his Ferguson tractor from the 1950s, one similar to the first tractor his father started farming with.
While Church showed up to Music on Main to support the club, he also humored anyone who asked about his tractor. When he saw it for sale along the highway three years ago, he knew he had to take a look knowing it was just like the one his father used.
?I never farmed myself,? Church said, recalling how when his father went from horses to that 1950s tractor it was a ?big improvement.?
Beside him, Marvin Johanson, president of Big Creek Tractor Club, was perched on a bright green John Deere tractor. Johanson said Main Street Mt. Pleasant requested the club bring some tractors to support the agricultural theme of the evening.
?I have a lot of tractors,? he said with a chuckle.
On the other side of the street, Larry Pidgen was encouraging children entered in the pedal tractor pull. Pidgen, who has been organizing tractor pulls since 1983, said that it?s entertainment for the children and something that has grown to become expected.
Pidgen had close to 50 kids participate in the tractor pull Friday, who walked away with bragging rights and what Pidgen hopes is an incentive to ?get off the couch? next year.
Pidgen said the next tractor pull can be found at the Henry County Fair.
In the square, area banks lined the sidewalks, giving out prizes and thanking farmers for everything they do for the community.
Alicia Yocum, from Two Rivers Bank, said they show their support at this event every year for farmers and local businesses.
Kids lined up to spin the wheel to win a prize at the Henry County Farm Bureau booth. Courtney Stucker, an intern with Henry County Farm Bureau, said they were just out to have fun, talk to people about agriculture and meet the community.
?The farming communities are amazing,? Stucker said. ?Southeastern Iowa is a great place.?
Other businesses like Your Dream Home Furniture and Floors handed out blue cotton candy and snow cones. ?It?s always fun seeing the smiles,? said Heather Leichty, of Your Dream Home.
Even the Mt. Pleasant Public Library was present, offering books for checkout in the square and signing up people for library cards.
Rebekah Hosford, youth services librarian, said she knows not everyone can get out to the library, so she wanted to bring the library to them.
?We?re hoping to have a permanent booth at Main Street events,? Hosford said.
Even as dark clouds rolled in, the evening remained dry and all agreed it was an excellent turnout.
?It?s perfect weather,? said Melissa Kull, on the Main Street board. ?(Lisa Oetken) ordered it up.?
As Matt Shinn went over to the Henry County Pork Producers to order three more sandwiches saying his family ate all the ones he had just bought, he complimented the fantastic event. ?The heat, then the rains and we get a night like tonight? It?s perfect,? he said.