Saturday was a busy day out at Blue Ridge Tractor, in Benton's newest industrial park.
More than 100 people filed in to celebrate the opening of Blue Ridge at its new location in the I-57 Airport Business Park.
Visitors had a chance to try a hand at operating one of the back hoes, and were also treated to a luncheon, refreshments, souvenirs and a tour of the large facility. Dignitaries included Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton); State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg); Benton Mayor Fred Kondritz; John Huffman, chairman of the Benton/West City Economic Development Committiee; Dave Cooper, executive director of the BWCEDC; and Karen Mullins, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
Jake Gibbs, Junior Manager of BRT, said the company believes in Illinois and wanted to keep the business in the area.
Blue Ridge Tractor offers sales, parts and service of Dressta, large earth moving equipment, and Kobelco Construction machinery.