Okay, so it didn't really take place on a Thursday (more
about that later), but it was nonetheless a big day for tractor
collectors in the Millsboro, Delaware, area as they exhibited their
machinery at the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce's first
annual Farm Equipment Show on Saturday, August 12, 2000. The show
was part of the Big Thursday festival, three days of family
The show was open to all comers, tractor or engine. While there
were no engines on hand in this first year, there was a nice
rainbow of about 15 tractors, including a couple of 1970s vintage
garden tractors, on display. All exhibitors received a dash plaque
for participating, and trophies were awarded within tractor make
Rodney Mears, of Georgetown, Delaware, took first place in the
Case division with his 1955 DC. Albert 'Bud' Leonard, of
West Chester, Pennsylvania, received the Ford trophy for his 1945
2N. Bud also took home the Allis Chalmers trophy, for his 1948 C.
The John Deere trophy went to Jerry Warrington, of Laurel,
Delaware, for his 1952 MC crawler, serial number MC-16506.
Farmall was the most-represented make of tractor, with several
competing for the trophies. First place went to Rodney Mears for
his 1955 Farmall 300; second to Randy Maull, of Milton, Delaware,
for his 1953 Farmall Super H; and third and fourth place to Melvin
Milligan, of Millsboro, for his 1922 Farmall Regular and his 1958
Farmall Cub, respectively.
Best of Show award went to Scott Siegfried, of Milton, Delaware,
for his beautifully-presented 1953 Ford NAA Jubilee tractor. This
handsome tractor stopped my mom in her tracks with a big
'ooooooh'of course, she's partial to Fords, having used
one on the home farm as a young girl.
The Big Thursday celebration dates to 1852, when the State of
Delaware first regulated the opening of oyster-harvesting season,
which happened to open on the second Thursday in August that year.
In years to come, the families of farmers and watermen held
'frolics' on riverbanks in communities throughout the
region to celebrate 'Big Thursday.' Although eventually
fading away in most areas, the tradition survived the longest in
Oak Orchard, a tiny village just east of Millsboro. In 1972, the
celebration moved into town, growing into one of the largest
festivals in southern Delaware.
In addition to the farm equipment show, the festival features an
auction, a local pageant, children's entertainment, a 5K run,
an antique and classic car show, museum displays and
demonstrations, food and craft vendors, carnival games and rides,
fireworks, musical entertainment, and more. This year's
festival will be held August 9-11, at the Little League complex on
State Street. The Farm Equipment Show takes place on Saturday,
August 11, beginning at 9:00 a.m., and will include an antique
tractor pull, agricultural displays, and a watermelon-eating
contest. For more information, or to register as an exhibitor, call