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A Guide to Half Century of Progress 2021

August 26, 2021

The Half Century of Progress Show is the largest working vintage farm show in the United States. This year, it returns to Champaign County's Rantoul Aviation Center, the former Chanute Air Force Base. In 2019, over 1000 vintage tractors and other equipment was on display. The event takes place starting today, August 26, through August 29th for four days of celebration, stewardship, and community as it relates to our area's agriculture community. 

For a full rundown of what to expect this year, we have the history of the event as well as the schedule for 2021 activities and demonstrations below. If you're already heading to the show, be sure to tag us in photos on social media @visitchampaign and with the hashtag #OutsideofOrdinary.

Lastly, this show isn't just all about the people who already love agriculture. Heading to this outside of ordinary event makes it easy to find a new interest in the agricultural practices of yesterday. We encourage you to head out and see all there is to explore at this year's event. Check out what's going on in Rantoul for the 2021 Half Century of Progress Show below!

the history of half century of progress

The very first Half Century of Progress Show took place near Henning, IL in 2003. Despite two days of rain canceling the end of the Farm Progress Show, the Half Century portion was a huge hit. The Farm Progress Show takes turns between Decatur, IL and Boone, IA, while the Half Century of Progress Show switches between Rantoul, the location of the 2021 show, and Decatur. On years that it's in Decatur, the Half Century of Progress Show occurs one week before the Farm Progress Show, keeping the roots of Half Century closely tied to where it all began.

One of the unique things about Half Century of Progress is that anyone can bring a tractor or machine to work in the field. There's no catering of on-site brands either; everyone is welcome to participate in the show as well as attend as a spectator. For those that bring equipment, registration is required as well as safety training. It's a real sight to be seen as tractors of all models, colors, and decades participate in daily parades. Of course, there's so much more to love about the event as well.

2021 half century of progress show schedule 

This year, the Half Century of Progress Show brings together more to do than ever before. There's never a year where this show doesn't improve and grow from the year before it. At the heart of every activity, event, and demonstration is a key goal: invite everyone to experience what farming and agriculture was like 50 years ago and beyond.

On the left, you'll find an entire rundown of the schedule for this year's events. You'll notice that every day starts with a flag rasing; that flag just so happens to be the Largest Flying Flag in the U.S. Weighing 200 lbs and an incredible 120 x 65 feet, the flag cost nearly $7,500 and is a great way to kick off each day's activities. 

Half Century of Progress FAQs

Half Century of Progress does cost money for entrance. Adult entry is $20 per day or $40 for a 4-day Pass. Children 12 and under are free to attend. Golf cart rentals on-site are sold out for this year's event, but you can bring your own pending a $40 tag fee. Just outside the admission gate, you can find free dry camping space at 101 W. Keal, Rantoul, IL. 

Follow the Half Century of Progress on Twitter and on their website. Likewise, follow Visit Champaign County on Facebook, Twitter, TikTokand Instagram! 

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