Red Power Round Up, a sea of red at the Iowa State Fairgrounds
By KRISS NELSON
DES MOINES – Many tractor enthusiasts will tell you they bleed the color of their favorite tractor, and red was the color last week at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
The 28th annual Red Power Round Up, hosted by the International Harvester Collectors Club Iowa Chapter 5, was held June 15-17. It is an annual celebration where people from all over come together and celebrate everything International Harvester, Farmall and other brands of tractors that fall in to the International Harvester brand.
“It’s a national International Harvester collectors club show for all club members and guests galore to be able to come, enjoy and see all the red and anything and everything to do with International Harvester,” said Brian Holdeman, co-chairman for the Red Power Roundup and International Harvester Collectors Club Iowa Chapter 5 president.
He also said this is the fourth time the national show has been held in Iowa.
“We’re just loving it,” he said. “The Iowa State Fairgrounds is the best venue we could ever ask for for something like this. We are really excited to have it here. I have heard a lot of positive feedback from everybody here.”
Holdeman estimated 40,000 people attended the show, which is held in a different state each year.
Attendees, he said, will come from all over.
“It’s a huge show, and we have people from all over the United States, and in fact, I have a group of 12 individuals that have come from France,” said Holdeman. “I have been getting phone calls from people this last year from literally almost every state. The only ones I don’t think I have heard from are Alaska and Hawaii, but they’re probably here, I just haven’t heard from them yet.”
The Red Power Round Up, he said, features primarily International Harvester and Farmall tractors but the show also includes engines, trucks, High Wheelers, equipment, deep freezers and milk cans.
“If there’s an IH emblem on it, it’s here,” he said.
With over 1,000 tractors for spectators to look at, Holdeman said there were also 130 vendors at the show featuring something for everyone.
“You could probably build a tractor just off buying the parts that are here right now,” he said. “This is a good venue and a good place for individuals to come and get the parts they need to restore their tractors. We also have a large live auction that will give people the opportunity to pick up some odd ball parts to help finish their restorations.”
In addition to the auction, the Red Power Round Up featured a daily parade, seminars, a kiddie tractor pull and various other activities and entertainment.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 56 series International tractor, Holdeman said they had a roundabout of all 56 models on display, a 56 series pedal tractor made just for the show that had 250 available for sale; as well as 1:64 scale tractor trailer which was made by Die Cast Productions and featured a Navistar Lonestar truck with opening hood, detailed engine, a Transcraft step deck trailer with spread axles, toolbox and a load of 56 series International toy tractors.
Only 252 of those were made available for sale at the show.
Holdeman said the International Harvester Collectors Club Iowa Chapter 5 is the fifth chapter within the national organization and the largest chapter.
Throughout the year, they will hold four meetings. Additionally, they are putting together their annual show that is coming up in September in Charles City.
He anticipates that show will feature 500 to 600 tractors.
Holdeman said they host events like the Red Power Round Up and others to help support their efforts giving towards grants and scholarships.
“We, as a chapter, give out $10,000 a year in grants and scholarships to high school and college kids to help support their college ventures,” he said. “For a local tractor club, that’s a lot of money we’re putting out, so we do these things to generate the income, keep the money alive and keep the accounts open to be able to do that.”
Holdeman said he grew up on a small hobby farm driving tractors all the time, but his involvement with the International Harvester club didn’t start until 13 years ago.
“When I met my wife, Lynn, her dad is a huge enthusiast,” Holdeman said. “He has 48 antiques himself that he has restored. So I have evolved from there, and have gotten very involved with them, helping them out with different shows and helping with the club and now I am club president.”
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