The Charlotte Tractor Parade, scheduled for this Sunday, Oct. 8, has been canceled.
Parade organizer Carrie Spear made the decision around 5 a.m. Thursday after seeing weather reports that predicted rain for both Saturday and Sunday.
Spear said she had heard there could be as much as 1-2 inches of rain by the time the parade was schedule to start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Concerns about spectators’ vehicles getting stuck were a primary factor that influenced her decision.
The parade happened without a problem for 19 years. Last year, was a gap year, Spear said, with the parade not held in 2021.
This year, she said will be the first time they’ve ever canceled the tractor parade.
She said some people had suggested postponing this year’s parade until next weekend on Oct. 15, but out of an abundance of caution, she decided to “postpone” the parade until Oct. 13, 2024.
Spear was very disappointed. She expected there would be at least 80 tractors. In recent years, the tractor parade has drawn thousands of people, she said.
Spear was hoping for a smaller parade this year, giving the organizers a test year to see how moving the staging area for the parade, from Spear’s Country Store at the corner of Hinesburg Road and Spear Street about a half mile south to the Green Mountain Hay farm at 3238 Spear Spear Street, worked.
Unlike in years past when the focus of the parade and all of the activities was at the corner near Spear’s Country Store. Besides parking, all the festivities would have been in the vicinity of Green Mountain Hay.
Parking was planned for a field across the street from the farm, and she said she didn’t want to get into a situation where farmers were having to use their tractors to pull cars out in the rain.
There is another reason for canceling the parade this year. “We didn’t want to damage the fields,” Spear said.
Spear said she has some big ideas for the annual tractor parade in the future. Nothing is definite, but she is contemplating the possibility of turning the event into a whole weekend of activities.
Moe Havey of Charlotte has been a big fan of the tractor parade. When Spear told Harvey a few weeks ago that the parade was going to resume this year, she said, “He was so thrilled. And he just got the good spirit going. So, today when I knew we were canceling, I made him one of my first calls.”