The Knights of Columbus 10th annual Journey for Charity Tractor Cruise to raise funds and collect food for local pantries will take place Sunday, Sept. 10.
The 30-mile cruise from St. Clair to Washington is organized by the Union, Washington, St. Clair and St. John’s-Gildehaus Knights of Columbus councils.
A blessing of the fleet ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Ozark Die Casting on Lofting Drive in St. Clair. Father Joe Post of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Union, will do the blessing.
Last year, approximately 126 tractors participated in the event. During the cruise, there will be utility vehicles collecting canned goods, nonperishable food items or cash donations along the route.
The food collected helps pantries stock shelves immediately.
People may donate along the route or send checks to Knights of Columbus Journey for Charity Tractor Cruise at P.O. Box 561, Union, MO 63084.
The event started as a one-day community activity, said John Jasper, event organizer, adding that the planning committee didn’t think it would be an annual event at first.
“But every year we get so many requests and excitement among drivers,” he said, adding that each year new young drivers participate along with others who have participated every year.
“It will be a fun day for the community and families,” Jasper said, “And we’ll get to make a difference for a lot of people we’ll never meet.”
This year, the Knights of Columbus State Deputy Joe Rosenthal will take part in the event.
To preregister or for sponsorship information, people may call Jasper, 314-581-6968. Jasper requested that drivers preregister to make the day run smoothly.
Drivers can drop off their truck and trailer in Washington, where the event ends, and get a bus ride to St. Clair for the cruise. Tractors can be dropped off in St. Clair the day before or that morning, Jasper noted.
To mark the 10th anniversary, raffle tickets are being sold for a 1948 Farmall Model C tractor or $3,000 cash.
The tractor was donated by the family of the late Bill Machelett.
Students at the Four Rivers Career Center, Washington, restored the tractor, said Jasper, which was a win/win for students and the Knights of Columbus.
All funds raised will go to local food pantries.
Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25.
Following the blessing, tractors will be staged and should begin taking off from St. Clair at 11 a.m.
The tractors will arrive in Union a little after noon, where they will break for about 30 minutes.
The final stop will be at the Washington Knights of Columbus, between 2:30-3 p.m. A kids pedal tractor pull and barbecue will be held in Washington. Tractors also will be on display.
The parade begins at Ozark Die Casting and will turn onto Route TT. The tractors will proceed on Commercial Avenue, Main Street, Springfield Avenue, Gravois Avenue, Highway 30 overpass of Interstate 44, North Service Road, Highway AB and Happy Sac Road.
The route then follows Route AD, North Bend Road, Clearview Road and Highway 50 West. Tractors will stop at the Union Knights of Columbus Hall until about 12:30 p.m.
From there, the tractors will head west to Independence, then travel on Old Highway 50 to West Main Street. Tractors will take a right on West Main back toward Independence then head north to West Park Road. Tractors will circle around the Sunset Health Care Center then head back to Park Street toward North Washington Avenue.
Tractors will travel on North Washington Independence, then cross over 47 and head to Highway V, Clearview Road, Bethlehem Church Road, North Goodes Mill Road to South Point Road.
The tractors will then travel on Highway 100 to West Fifth Street, right on Cedar Street, left on Main Street, right on Olive St., to Front Street, and take Tiemann Drive to North Grand, Fifth Street, and will follow Clay Street back to the KC Hall in Washington, where the route ends at the Washington Knights of Columbus Hall.