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If you collect vintage tractors of any brand, mark your calendars. Tractor enthusiasts from all over are invited to bring their tractors and participate in the 2012 “Ride the River” Vintage Tractor Ride, scheduled for Saturday, August 25, 2012 along the Kankakee and Iroquois rivers.

            Developed through a partnership between Kankakee Community College (KCC), the KCC Foundation, and The Central Illinois Green Club, “Ride the River” is a bi-annual event that takes participants on a 50-mile vintage tractor ride through some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. Signature sponsor for the event is Hogan Walker, LLC in Manteno. Proceeds from the event provide a KCC Scholarship for Agriculture and Horticulture Studies students.

            Ride the River begins at the KCC campus with a 6:30 a.m. check-in, coffee and donuts in the KCC Workforce Development Center. Participants are encouraged to bring their tractors to the campus the night before, but may also arrive the morning of the event. For those wishing to come in the night before, overnight security and surveillance will be provided on-site.

            An estimated 150 tractors will leave the KCC campus, following a route that travels along a brand new route that follows the riverfront through a number of local spots as follows. All times are approximated:

  • Depart KCC: 8 a.m. sharp
  • Sugar Island Bridge: 9:05 a.m.
  • Break – Aroma Park Camp Ground (4112 South Youth Camp Road, Saint Anne): 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
  • Sandbar Road & Route 17 crossing: 11:15 a.m.
  • Lunch - Island Park (79 Mill Street, Momence):  12-1:30 p.m.
  • River Road South to 8500E Rd. Crossing (Route 1 & 17):  1:55 p.m.
  • Route 1 & 7500 E. Road: 2:15 p.m.
  • Break: Aroma Park Camp Ground: 2:40 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Kankakee Boat Club: 3:55 p.m.
  • Return to KCC:  4:30 p.m.

The total distance for the ride is 50 miles.

            “We are extremely excited to bring this unique and special event back again.” notes John Evans, Sr., President of the Central Illinois Green Club. “The 2008 and 2010 rides created a substantial scholarship for KCC Ag and Horticulture students, and will be helping two students attend college this fall. We’re looking forward to growing the fund through this event and helping more students to earn their education.”

            John Fulton, board member for the Central Illinois Green Club and member of the KCC Foundation Board agrees.  “An event like this is a fun way for enthusiasts to get together, show off their pride and joy vintage tractors, see the tractors brought by other collectors, and enjoy a beautiful, scenic ride for a great cause. Supporting the event will mean bolstering future generations of farmers throughout the region through scholarship aid.”

            The entry fee for Ride the River is $60. Cost includes coffee/donuts at registration, lunch, a commemorative hat and pins, refreshment stops, a commemorative video of the day, and a beautiful 50-mile stretch of touring, camaraderie, and fun.

            To register, participants can download a participation form by logging onto www.kcc.edu/ridetheriver, or by going to www.centralillinoisgreenclub.com and clicking on the “activities” tab. Interested parties can also call the KCC Foundation at 815/802-8252 or Nancy Evans, Secretary for the Central Illinois Green Club at 815/933-6908 for more information.