MMOGTA board cancels gas tractor show

A tractor pull competitor takes part in a past Mid-Michigan Old Gas Tractor Association show. Organizers announced Monday that this year's event has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

OAKLEY — In a unanimous vote Monday night, The Mid-Michigan Old Gas Tractor Association (MMOGTA) Executive Board opted to cancel the 46th annual Old Gas Tractor Show, originally scheduled for Aug. 21-23.

The board also unanimously agreed to cancel its annual Rural Education Day at the showgrounds, which typically draws hundreds of students from area school districts in Saginaw and Shiawassee counties.

The event was scheduled for Sept. 25.

Board Vice President Carl Ziola said that while the decision to cancel this year’s events was difficult, it was made with the safety of members, vendors, exhibitors and patrons in mind.

“We just want to protect people as much as we can,” Ziola said via phone this morning. “This virus hasn’t disappeared and it’s too new of a virus to expose people and potentially put them at risk. A lot of our members are older and have compromised immune systems, so we wanted to have their best interest in mind.”

The potential for liability in the event that patrons contracted the virus during the show was also a concern, Ziola said, noting both county health officials and the association’s insurance agency recommended the cancellation.

“It’s heartbreaking to cancel,” Ziola said, “but we’ll come back next year and hopefully everything will be behind us and we can have a great show.”

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