A long line of tractors made their way from Collins to Melbourne and back again this past Sunday as part of the annual CAPOOT tractor ride.
A total of 58 tractors of all sizes and models gathered along Main Street in Collins near the Community Center prior to starting the ride at 2 p.m. Dave Struthers, event organizer, said Sunday’s turnout was just short of last year’s record turnout of 61 tractors.
Started 11 years ago by Struthers’ father, CAPOOT stands for Collins Area People On Old Tractors. A majority of participants are from the Collins area, though a few come from outside the area but have ties to the community, Struthers said.
Initially, the ride was held to raise funds for the Community Center. Since then, a different community organization has been chosen each year to receive funds collected from the ride. Previous groups have included the local 4-H club, church youth group, Collins-Maxwell FFA, music boosters and Friends of the Library. This year’s funds were directed toward the fire department, to help with the structural issues of its building.
Following the ride, drivers and riders were provided with a meal and refreshments.
Each year, slow and fast routes are mapped out to accomodate the various tractors. Struthers plans it so all participants arrive at the breaking point at about the same time, and make it back to Collins around the same time, as well. Last year they drove to Mingo and back, and next year he plans to take a westerly route.
"I try to pick a different route each year," Struthers said.
The CAPOOT tractor ride is held each September on the second Sunday of the month.