Fun Fact Friday: Extreme Cross-State Festival
By: Stevie Hoey
August 3, 2012 8:59 am CT
Many communities host summer festivals to bring residents together to enjoy great food, activities and conversation. Two towns in Illinois and Iowa have taken the idea of a friendly gathering and turned it into an extreme cross-state competition since 1987. The towns of Port Byron, Ill. and LeClaire, Iowa participate in an annual tug of war competition called Tug Fest.
This summer event is not your typical tug of war. Instead of a mud trench separating the teams, the Mississippi River is the pit! More than 2,700 feet of heavy rope weighing 700 pounds is strung from the shore of Illinois to Iowa where 10 teams of men and one team of women compete to bring home the first-place trophy. Illinois currently owns the inter-state bragging rights, having won 15 of the 25 annual contests. The Illinois women’s team also holds the only undefeated record in the event’s history.
Drawing crowds from across the Midwest, Tug Fest has evolved into a popular attraction. In fact, it’s the only event in the United States allowed to shut down the Mississippi River for a day!
Find all the details on this year’s Tug Fest, held on August 11, visit www.tugfest.org