This Sunday, the East Charlotte Tractor Parade starts at 1 p.m., rain or shine, on the corner of Spear Street and Hinesburg Road. A beloved Charlotte institution that is always a welcome kickoff to the fall season, the parade will feature dozens of tractors, good eats, and what is predicted to be unseasonably warm weather.
Carrie Spear, selectboard member and owner of Spear’s Corner Store, which sponsors the parade, said that this year’s parade, more than ever, has a real community feel to it. “We’re just really grateful,” she said, “whether people volunteer time, loose change, or big checks, we couldn’t do it without them.”
Volunteers help coordinate parking, Heather Manning coordinates the pre-parade luncheon for all the drivers, and Hannaford donates condiments for lunch. Community members donate books so that any child attending the tractor parade can go home with a free book. “Last year, kids were reading books while they were waiting for the parade to start. It was really cute,” Spear said.
Sophie Pidgeon, an eighth grader at Charlotte Central School, plans a bake sale this year at the parade to raise money for a trip to the international Curvy Girls conference, an organization for which she is the Vermont state chapter president. Curvy Girls is a support organization for girls with scoliosis.
Creative Explorers daycare in Charlotte always creates a beautiful float for the parade, Spear said, and this year the little ones can be expected to dress in scarecrow attire – adorableness on a wagon.
Another highlight of the parade is the drivers, Spear said. “I love the idea of knowing that there are young drivers on lawn tractors. One kid who started on a lawn tractor is driving a great big one this year.”