Dorothy Soo-Wiens is organizing a tractor parade in Virgil for Dec. 16 and unbeknownst to her, she was reviving a tradition that hasn’t taken place in NOTL for decades.
Wilbert Dick, who was lord mayor in the late 1970s, used to host tractor parades on the May long weekend, Dick's daughter-in-law Eleanor told her.
Soo-Wiens wanted to organize something fun and festive for the agricultural community.
“This is Christmas and we are a farming community. This is a way that our farming community can give back to Niagara-on-the-Lake,” she said.
The parade will start at the Virgil arena at 6 p.m., then head down Four Mile Creek Road to Radiant Care Pleasant Manor.
From Pleasant Manor the tractors will head to Line 1 Road and cut across to Concession 4 before turning onto Line 2 Road to head back to the arena.
She is married to Coun. Erwin Wiens, a former police officer in Hamilton, and he has been advising her on the safest route for the procession.
“He’s like, ‘OK, the less left turns the better,” Soo-Wiens said with a laugh.
Other than Erwin’s traffic knowledge, his wife has been organizing everything solo.
“It’s to bring the farming community and the rest of the community together,” she said.
Soo-Wiens said 10 growers have offered their time and tractors for the parade.
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Lions Club will be sponsoring the event and providing refreshments to the participants after the processional, she said.
“The growers that have offered to put in their tractors and harvesters all think this is such a fun idea,” Soo-Wiens said.
“Hopefully people will come out and stand along the route. We’ll see how it goes.”
“I especially want the families to come out and I think older people will get a blast out of it too. Who doesn’t love a tractor all lit up?”