On a hot summer day in July, 34 tractors and assorted conveyances file out of the Dunedin park and head westward into the rolling hills of Simcoe and Dufferin County. There are grey David Brown’s, fire-engine red Massey Ferguson’s, blue Fords, yellow Allis-Chalmers and green Oliver’s. One tractor pulls a porta-potty behind for life’s emergencies; another one tugs a roof- covered wagon with seats, sporting a sign: “Ford Fanny Ferry.” The driver of this rig wears a shirt proclaiming him as the “Ford Fanny Ferry Driver” and his partner has a similar shirt: “Ford Fanny Ferry Rider.” The drivers and passengers hail from Simcoe, Grey and Dufferin counties, and even beyond.
The tradition is the brainchild of Jamie Adam, now deceased, who led the parade of tractors through the hills and dales of Dunedin, Creemore, Glen Huron and south to Dufferin County. Mr. Adam was the self-proclaimed mayor in his hamlet of Lavender. He shared his love of antique tractors and rural roads with yearly participants in the rally. The tradition was carried on since his passing, with local organizers taking up the challenge to arrange and marshal the tractors. Lunch is provided at a mystery location, so most of the travelers are kept in suspense about the noon fare.
At journey’s end, a hot roast beef dinner is waiting at the Dunedin Hall for those hungry travelers. And during the meal, if a few tales and stories are told about the day’s adventures, and perhaps some hairpin turn or steep hill that set their hearts to beating, then it all makes the day worthwhile.