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Antique tractors pull their own weight

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Kevin Enter pulls the furthest with his 1957 Oliver tractor to win the 5500 Factory Stock division at Lafayette’s antique tractor pull competition.

LAFAYETTE — The 17th annual antique tractor pull was held in Lafayette Saturday with around 96 entries/hooks competing to see which vehicles could still pull their own weight.

The tractor pull was organized by Mike Haas. He started the tractor pull tradition 17 years ago. The idea for the annual event came to him and a few others after traveling to tractor pulls in other communities. It seemed like an event that would go over well in Lafayette and it has. Haas said tractor pull participants and audiences were up this year. Participants came from all over the region with a few tractors coming from Wisconsin and Iowa.

Part of the fun of the antique tractor pull is the vehicles need to be older. All tractors pulling must be from 1959 or older. This age restriction still allowed for variety in the event. John Deere tractors were the most represented in the event, but Case, Farmall, International and Oliver models were all represented in the tractor pull.

Haas said the competition was good for these older tractors. In order to compete, the owners had to keep the vehicles in operation shape. Some owners put a great deal of time and resources in making sure their six-decades-old tractors run.

Kevin Enter of Nicollet came first in the 5500 Factory Stock competition. He was able to pull 251.06 feet with his 1957 Oliver.

Asked his secret, Enter said it was just a great tractor. He did recently put new tires on the vehicle, but in a pulling competition that would not necessarily help.

The event was also a great event for families. Several parents were able to compete alongside their children using tractors that were part of the farm for decades.

The tractor pull was only the first big event of the week in Lafayette. The city will be hosting its first National Night Out on Tuesday, August 3, in Lund Park.

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