Sublette's population about to skyrocket for Farm Toy & Antique Tractor Show
41st annual event set for March 18-19
By BRANDON LaCHANCE
SUBLETTE – Santa Claus already brought his toys for the holiday season.
Now it’s time for the 41st Annual Sublette Antique Tractor & Toy Show to get ready to present its toys on March 18 & 19, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
The show, which is $3 admission and free to 6 and under, will feature toy vendors with all varieties of farm toys and tractors, cars, semi-trucks, and arts and crafts.
Each year the Sublette Antique Tractor & Toy Show features a specific tractor. This year’s special guest is the J.I. Case Tractor.
“Quite a few years ago, we started featuring a different kind of tractor at each annual toy show,” said the Sublette show’s secretary, John Stenzel. “This year we’re featuring the J.I. Case tractor. It has a symbol of a globe and an eagle (introduced in 1865 based off of Old Abe, a Wisconsin Civil War Regiment’s mascot). I read about the J.I. Case a while ago, but if I remember right, the tractor started in Wisconsin.”
Founded by Jerome Increase Case, the Case Corporation (originally the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company and also called the J.I. Case Company) manufactured agricultural machinery and construction equipment from 1842 until it closed in November of 1999.
At one point, Case was one of the top options for steam engines, portable engines, traction engines, and steam tractors.
In 1957, Case bought out the American Tractor Corporation and produced a hybrid tractor called the 320 Construction King, which became synonymous with the title backhoe loaders.
Case continued its success in tractors through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s.
The J.I. Case Tractor is the feature item, but there will be many toys to look at, check out, or purchase as vendors come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa.
“The show we had in March of this 2022 was the first normal toy show we had had in a few years because COVID-19 stopped the 2020 show completely and we had a drive through show with antique tractors in 2021,” said Stenzel, who is in his second year as the secretary. “Last year’s attendance was pretty close to normal. This year we should be back to the numbers we were at previously.”
Normally, the Sublette Antique Tractor & Toy Show has approximately 5,000 visitors.
Stenzel and the toy show board consisting of president Maurice Zimmerlein, treasurer Anthony Morgan, Mark Henkel, Jeremy Zapf, and Evan Bickett have made adaptions through COVID and other issues to make sure the show lives on because they don’t want it to die.
“Last year, we gave three, $500 scholarships to high school students,” Stenzel said. “We made a donation to the Sublette Park Board and the Sublette Community Building.”
The 41st Annual Sublette Antique Tractor & Toy Show has a website, Subletteweb.com, for all other information.