Annual Tractor Pull carries on despite rain

by Bradley Hartsell


Buddy Stanford pulls the sled 24 feet, 5 inches in his Allis-Chalmers tractor.    

Conditions weren’t ideal Saturday for the 19th annual Turin Tractor Pull and Parade, but that didn’t stop the crowd or the “pullers” from coming out and making a day of it. Despite some of the worst weather seen at the tractor pull in years, plenty of people, like Turin’s Carla Yeager, eagerly brought out the family. The Yeagers celebrated their 10th year attending the event.

“Rain or shine, it’s always good family fun,” said Yeager.

The tractor parade, which trails around downtown Turin beginning at 10 a.m., went smoothly with only a light drizzle.

The crowd came prepared, with many spectators sporting hooded jackets to knock off the chill and toting umbrellas to keep the rain off their heads. Smiles were shared by parade participants and onlookers alike, as candy was thrown from the trailers and the town’s children scrambled to retrieve it.

As the parade wound down, however, the rain picked up and attendees began retreating to the spectator’s shed and tents available in front of the tractor pull lane. All three shelters were filled within minutes of the heavy rain, with some attendees securing seating for the eventual pull, while others enjoyed walking around socializing and getting concessions.

Unfortunately, the rain muddied the pulling lane, forcing event officials to wait for the weather system to pass. While everyone waited, a slow race was held, a race in which the slowest tractor in first gear wins.

Following the slow race was a wheelbarrow race, which became very muddy very quickly.

Sharpsburg’s Robert Bearden said he preferred Saturday’s drizzle over the blazing heat of recent years. Bearden has attended all 19 tractor pulls. After finally getting a tractor of his own this year, Beardon decided to participate in the parade.

Why did he decide now was the time for a tractor?

“It reminds me of my past. I love old tractors,” said Bearden, recalling an old Ford tractor his family owned as a boy. “They’re nice to look at, and tinker with.”

Bearden lives just three miles from Turin’s downtown and therefore was able to drive his 1953 grey and white Ford Jubilee from home to the festivities.

“Took me only 30 minutes,” Beardon said with a chuckle.

Turin is always very supportive of its tractor pull, and while the rain wasn’t ideal, it certainly didn’t dissuade the town from showing its love of community, games and, of course, tractors.

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