This year the members of the Traction Engine Club of Ulster have taken up the challenge of Tractor Dancing at the Festival of Steam and Transport.
Practicing is well underway at a secret location outside Ballymena for their debut performance at the Festival which is being held at Ballee playing fields in Ballymena on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16.
Along with the tractor dancing there will be a special Ferguson feature this year to mark the 80th anniversary of the Ferguson Brown, the 70th anniversary of the TE-20, and the 60th anniversary of the Ferguson Yellow Belly.
Guest commentator, Peter Love, will be travelling over from England to share his wealth of knowledge on these historic tractors. As always there will be a working arena with demonstrations of sawing, threshing and stone breaking powered by steam. This year there will also be a demonstration of working with small garden tractors. There will be tractor pulling on both days where the power and strength of tractors can be compared to the brute strength of their predecessors, the traction engines.
There will be something for all the family at this year’s festival with arena events such as steam tug of war and steam musical chairs to keep children entertained. For the younger children, there will be a small pedal tractor arena with a sand pit, to allow them to show off their tractor driving skills. The wide array of trade and craft will offer something for those who like a bit of retail therapy. Eamon McQuaide will be providing live music on both days as well as for the barbecue in the marquee on site on the Friday evening.
For more information, check out the club’s web site, www.ulstersteam.co.uk.