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Tractor drive to commemorate Flood of ’93

Annual event’s route to pass through Cedar City, Tebbetts, flood plains

This year, one of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society’s biggest fundraisers will also be commemorating a historic event.

The eighth annual Callaway Vintage Tractor Drive will return Aug. 24. This year’s route will take participants through the former Cedar City, Tebbetts and other areas in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the devastating Great Flood of 1993.

Historical Society Museum Curator Barb Huddleston said the event was started eight years ago by Louis Bumgarner, and it also serves as a chance for friends and tractor enthusiasts from across the state to catch up.

“The group liked it because it was a way of showing different parts of the county off,” Huddleston said, “and the guys can show off their tractors.”

Each year has a route that highlights a different area. This year’s timing with the flood anniversary made the river route a logical choice.

The drive will start at 9:30 a.m. from the Lions Club Park in New Bloomfield. The tractor precession will take state Route TT and various county roads to the Tebbetts Community Center for a morning break before departing to the former Cedar City for a pork steak dinner, as well as news footage and information on the flooding.

The drive will then return to New Bloomfield by way of the Oil Well Road.

The Cedar City area was originally populated by French fur trappers and other frontiersmen, before eventually officially adopting its name in 1971. It was a common stop for steamboat traffic along the Missouri River in the late 1800s.

The town stayed small and continued to flourish, consolidating with Jefferson City in the late 1980s. After the Flood of 1993, the city bought most of the properties and began using the land for ball fields and public gardens.

The former Cedar City was not the only Callaway County town affected by the flood, which caused about $15 billion in damage across the Midwest. Mokane saw flood damage, and Huddleston said that sandbagging was even done at Tebbetts — a rare necessity during high water.

Registration for the drive has begun, with registration forms available at the Historical Society. The early registration cost is $35, or $45 on the day of the drive. A meal is included with the drive, but additional meals can be bought at $8.

For more information, call the Historical Society at (573) 642-0570.

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