WHITE OAK — Bright, sunny skies and warm weather made for a beautiful weekend for the 15th Annual Old Fashion Planter’s Day sponsored by the White Oak Ruritans. The event, held each year at Butler Farms on Hwy. 53 in White Oak, was packed with country folks of all ages on Saturday and Sunday.
The opening ceremony kicked off the event at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with guest speakers Bladen County Sheriff Steve Bunn and Chief Deputy Sec. NC DOT Dan DeVane. The color guard of Tar Heel Challenge Academy in Salemburg presented the flags while Tommy Elliott sang the National Anthem.
Tractor pulls, entertainment, vendors and food were just a few of the attractions that kept long lines of visitors streaming through the gates. With weather that truly felt as though Spring has sprung, the two days could not have been more perfect for friends and neighbors to gather at the yearly event.
Garden and antique tractor pulls kept one end of the venue packed with spectators, while the more shaded area by the stables was used for the kiddies and ladies tractor pulls. Vendors sold wares from candles and handmade bags to doggie visors and T-shirts. And, of course, many of the booths were showing their John Deere green with all kinds of merchandise available to shoppers.
Groups and individuals kept the stage area packed with spectators who wanted to pull up a bench and listen to a variety of local talent. Face painting, games, wagon and pony rides and bounce houses kept the children entertained. Antique cars were lined under the trees with their owners showing off their hard work on the restoration of some American classics.
In a huge field out behind the tractor pull area, horses and mules pulled plows while kicking up dust and reminding spectators of the old days of farming. And no one can attend a good old Bladen County festival without making their way to the food tents and trailers, filled with goodies such as fresh-squeezed lemonade, barbecue plates, turkey legs and sausage dogs.
But the main attraction for most was the antique tractors. Bright reds and greens were seen all around, with some making a presence just for show while others made their way out to the tractor pull competition to test their strength against others.
Corporate sponsors of the 15th Annual Planter’s Day were White Lake Water Park; Star Telephone; Smithfield Packing Co.; Sheriff Steve Bunn; Four County Electric; Dorman Motors; and Campbell Oil Co./Minuteman Food Mart. Tommy Elliott served as master of ceremonies and the sound system operator was Chris Edge.