LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The first Saturday in May brings more than 150,000 people to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. But horses can't outdraw tractors. And combines. And all the rest of the machinery farmers use.
Three-hundred-thousand people come from all over the country to the National Farm Machinery Show at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. The four day event brings tens of millions of dollars to the local economy, too.
If you can pull it with a tractor, you'll see it at this event. Lawn tractors, looking like the offspring of $500,000 tractors.
"Farmers are like kids at Christmas. Their eyes light up, they get excited real quick," was how Hodgenville, Kentucky farmer Ryan Bivens described the show to WAVE 3 News Anchor Scott Reynolds.
"The great thing, you see people from all 50 states and foreign countries," he said.
Bivens actually had dinner with a farm family from California who planned their vacation around Louisville's largest trade show.
Farm prices have been down the past few years, after a strong run. When they get paid less for corn, soybeans and wheat, it can hurt equipment sales. But vendors here say they see a lot of optimism, and expect a big year.
You can't buy at the show, but you can see every possible option available.
"A lot of people are coming up and saying, 'I've got this on order,'" according to Nate Williams, the Indiana Regional Manager for John Deere. Others want every question answered before they make a substantial capital outlay.
"They really like to see it before they make a purchase," Williams said.
And they can see them all with more than 850 exhibitors putting their products on the red carpet. The carpet that means a lot of green for Louisville.