“Nobody puke!” one of the riders called out.
It turned out to be a lovely night: A day of rain gave way to a breeze and open skies. The women from Denver swayed and shimmied as Ms. Heatherly worked her way through a playlist of country hits and party staples: the Walker Hayes song “Fancy Like,” Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).” She fast-forwarded to get to the good part of the Backstreet Boys song “Everybody.”
The tractor wasn’t on Broadway for long. The densest section of the thoroughfare was limited to pedestrians, sending the vehicle on a slow-moving obstacle course of narrow streets, jaywalkers, idling Ubers, lifted pickups and 90-degree turn after 90-degree turn.
The driver, Cole Canada, seemed to take it in stride.
“It hurts me to see Cole up there driving,” Ms. Heatherly said, “because my husband should be up there.” Her husband, Rickie, died in June; they had been married for 42 years. The business had been Mr. Heatherly’s creation, and he was an expert driver, she said, maneuvering the wagon into tight spaces others would not dare attempt.
Cheree Jubin, whose wedding in the fall was the impetus for the trip, stood on the wagon’s wooden bench. “Everyone needs to raise their glass to Rickie!” she said as her friends cheered.
“I’ve really loved it,” Ms. Jubin said of the evening. “I didn’t expect it to be as beautiful as it was.”
The tractor had crossed the Cumberland River, stopping at a truck stop for a restroom break. Then, it wove around the stadium where the Tennessee Titans play, headed for the ideal spot for Ms. Heatherly to take the group’s photo. The women stood huddled together with the neon from Broadway and the lights from the skyline looming behind them and reflecting off the river.
But the quiet was fleeting. A roofless school bus, with speakers thumping, was already waiting, its riders eager to get the same shot.