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Classic Tractor and Car Show a Hit at Rural Michigan Church


Set in an agricultural community near Hudsonville, Mich., Zutphen Christian Reformed Church proved to be the perfect backdrop for a recent classic tractor and car show.

About 1,000 people turned out on a sunny and warm Saturday afternoon for the show, the sixth year in a row the church has held the event. The show attracted about 100 classic tractors and cars, with some tractors dating as far back as the 1920s.

“The tractors are a big hit with a lot of the old-time guys, and I think it’s more of a family event than a car show,” said Dave Van Haitsma, who has been one of the show’s organizers since its inception in 2010.

Zutphen CRC began the show to celebrate the completion of the church’s family life center. “We did it as a ‘thank you’ to the builders and contractors and everybody that worked on it,” organizer Maribeth Elgersma said.

The response was so strong in the first year that the church has turned it into an annual event, making it a centerpiece of its community outreach. Nearly all of the church’s 100-plus members play a role in putting on the show. About 90 percent of those who attend have no affiliation with the church, Van Haitsma said.

Jane Folkert, who lives about three miles from the church, came back to the show after attending it for the first time last year with some friends. “My husband is a [classic] car freak,” said Folkert, who was joined by two of her grandchildren, 6-year-old Loghan and her 4-year-old brother, Hayden.

Past shows have attracted classic cars and tractors from as far away as Indiana and Wisconsin. “It’s strictly word of mouth. People have come before liked it and came back,” Elgersma said. “Whoever comes this year, we’ll send a letter, so they’ll know about it next year.”

Besides the classic tractors and cars, the day included a pig roast and children’s activities, including pony rides offered by the Critter Barn, a nearby educational farm.

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