By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: October 2011
Kathi Turner competes on the fully restored John Deere Model 60 Tractor, purchased new by her grandfather in 1955.
October 21-23 marks the 21st annual Route 66 Flywheelers’ Gas Engine and Tractor Show. The fun-filled family event takes place at Rogers Point Park, located on historic Route 66 just north of the Blue Whale in Catoosa. Activities run from sunrise to sunset each day. The show is hosted by the Route 66 Flywheelers and sponsored by the City of Catoosa. The Route 66 Flywheelers club president is Mike Cartwright. CASTA (Classic Antique Stock Tractor Association) oversees the tractor pull event. All competing tractors must be stock 1960 models or earlier.
Admission to the Gas Engine and Tractor Show is free. Anyone may display their classic or antique stock tractor and be a part of the Parade of Power, consisting of tractors, antique cars and trucks, and many more unique vehicles from the past. The Parade of Power will be held Saturday, October 22 at 10 a.m.
Jim Perryman will be selling his delicious smoked barbecue from Firehouse BBQ, and Boy Scout Troop 301 of Catoosa will be hosting a fundraising breakfast event featuring skillet prepared biscuits and gravy. Your donations will help Troop 301 with planned annual activities. Other concessions will also be available on site.
According to tractor pull coordinator Willie Turner, “This will be the first year our show will have a steam-driven tractor on display. It will be ‘steamed up’ and operating an old shingle mill.”
The kiddy pull event for kids 10 and under is always a popular attraction at the annual show.
The Route 66 Flywheelers began hosting this show in 1991, when it was an engine show featuring old hit-and-miss gasoline engines. This year’s event will also have several fully restored “hit-and-missers” hooked up to operate corn grinders, saws, and even an ice cream maker, with ice cream for sale to the public.
“We love to see kids attending our shows because we have events and historical displays that educate and entertain the whole family,” says Turner. This year’s show features a broom maker who will create brooms the way it was done before the Industrial Revolution. There will also be a steam tractor, a blacksmith, corn grinding demonstrations, an old-time jail, a hay press, a shingle mill, two antique and stock tractor pulls, and much more.
The Spinners, a ladies group from Tulsa, will be operating antique spinning wheels as they turn raw cotton into twine and then place it on looms to hand-weave cotton fabric. “Our goal is to involve and educate youth on how things were done in the 1800s when families had to grind their own corn, cut lumber and shingles to build barns, cabins and fences, and spin yarn to make their clothes,” says Turner.
The Route 66 Flywheelers Gas Engine and Tractor Show will feature a kiddy pull for kids up to the age of 10. Peddle tractors are furnished for young competitors to self-power as they try their hands and feet at pulling a scaled-down sled. Each event winner is awarded a T-shirt and trophy, and every child receives a participation ribbon.
Each Route 66 Flywheelers tractor pull event has a safety training session for 15 and 16 year olds. After completing the session, these young men and women may compete in the tractor pulls.
Tractor pulling is definitely a family sport. Willie Turner, his wife Kathi, and their 8-year-old son Willie Dee are all participants. Willie and his father-in-law Curtis Charles rebuilt and restored the JD-60 tractor that Kathi’s grandfather bought new in 1955. Kathi now competes on that John Deere and loves to compete against her husband.
Come to Rogers Point Park October 21-23 for an enjoyable adventure as you and your family relive this important part of American history. For more information, call Route 66 Flywheelers president Mike Cartwright at (918) 231-0135.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.