Although it's been open to the public for several months, this weekend marks the formal opening for the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum in Waterloo.

The Cedar Valley's newest attraction will celebrate its official grand opening on Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Various activities are planned for the day, including a ribbon-cutting ceremony, demonstrations, food vendors and a temporary outdoor display of more than 60 tractors.

The grand opening coincides with My Waterloo Days, a city-wide festival that began Thursday and continues through Sunday.

"We are thrilled to commemorate the opening of this museum and what better time than during a community-wide celebration showcasing Waterloo's cultural and recreational opportunities," said Dawn Hendershot, the museum's project manager.

The John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum offers a glimpse at how the company has become ingrained in the community. The partnership between the city of Waterloo, home of John Deere’s largest manufacturing complex, and the company is a theme of the museum. It features stories about key individuals who guided John Deere during its early years while also displaying company products and memorabilia, such as vintage tractors, blueprints of the complex and manuals.

"Our Museum is located on the original site of the Waterloo Tractor Works, and our exhibits highlight the rich history and dynamic growth of the tractor business at John Deere," Hendershot said. "The community of Waterloo plays a big role in that history and in the success of the world's largest provider of agricultural equipment. We look forward to celebrating our history with residents and guests of Waterloo and the surrounding community."

All events taking place outside the facility on Saturday are free of charge.

Guests wanting to tour the museum will receive two dollars off their admission price during the grand opening if they wear a My Waterloo Days button. Buttons are available for purchase at more than 60 locations throughout the Cedar Valley and provide other discounts at various My Waterloo Days events.

Also, the first 200 adults purchasing museum tickets on Saturday will receive a collectible medallion that was hand-forged by the John Deere Historic Site’s blacksmith.

Nearly four years in the making, the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum joins various other company attractions in the Midwest, including the John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Illinois, and the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois.

The Tractor and Engine Museum opened its door to the public on Dec. 2, 2014, with a focus on engaging visitors in the history of tractor engine design and manufacturing at John Deere, especially in the Cedar Valley.

The Waterloo facility offers a variety of exhibits that engage guests of all ages including:

  • Working the Land – Here guests trace the evolution of work from people power to the early days of tractors and engines
  • Storyline – Allows discovery of the story behind John Deere's arrival and growth in Waterloo
  • Manufacturing - Follows the production of a historic John Deere tractor from design to assembly
  • Into the World – Provides an experience of how John Deere tractors and engines help people do their work today

The John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum is open to visitors Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults ages 13-61 and $4 for seniors, active duty military, John Deere employees and retirees. Children ages 12 and under accompanied by an adult can enjoy the museum for free.

For more information about tours and the museum visit www.JohnDeere.com/TractorandEngineMuseum or call 319-292-6126.