Tractor pulls can be a family tradition
WILLMAR -- Parents and kids both agree, there really is no secret to tractor pulls. "You just got to peddle hard," said Chad Carlson, of Willmar. If there was a secret Carlson would know it. His son, Cael, 6, won the children's tractor pull at la...
WILLMAR -- Parents and kids both agree, there really is no secret to tractor pulls.
"You just got to peddle hard," said Chad Carlson, of Willmar. If there was a secret Carlson would know it. His son, Cael, 6, won the children's tractor pull at last year's Kandiyohi County Fair.
The Carlsons were back at this year's children's tractor pull, held Saturday morning in the 4-H Arena at the fairgrounds. This time, Chad brought along his youngest son, Cadem, who ran in the four-year-old division, and his six-year-old nephew Cody.
Kids, parents and spectators packed the arena for most of the morning during the tractor pull, which consisted of a toy tractor hitched to a silver, auger-like trailer that could be weighed down with heavy plates, depending upon the age.
The morning began with the four-year-old drivers. Often, these youngsters would pedal hesitantly for a few feet and then look up at their mom or dad for help. The winning pull didn't go over six feet. But every child received a can of pop from the announcers.
Carlson's son, Cadem entered into this bracket but didn't receive a trophy for placing in the top three. Of course, there might've been a reason for this.
"He's actually three," Carlson whispered, with a grin on his face.
But with the move to the five-year-old bracket, the pace of the game got a little quicker and got the crowd a little more excited.
The entrants were mostly boys, but a few girls did turn some heads.
When a small, brown-haired Sage Lara, 5, drenched in an oversized basketball jersey sat on the tractor no one in the crowd seemed to expect much. But, then she kept pedaling. And pedaling. In fact, she pedaled practically the length of the track and won herself a 1st-place trophy. The cheering crowd had risen to its feet by the time Sage was done.
"She gets it from her mom," said dad Jesse, who along with his wife, Melissa, and children were all dressed in matching basketball jerseys.
"We entered her in Harvest Fest over in Raymond last year and she won that, too," Jesse said.
Success in tractor pulls must depend on some particular skill or size, but there seemed to be no easy answer Saturday morning. Though, if one in the family has it, others seem to have it, too.
Cheri Baron, of Willmar, has been to a lot of tractor pulls over the years and brought home a number of trophies.
Saturday, her son Christian, 7, and daughter Shannon, 6, gave it a try. Cheri's oldest son, who is now 16, won a few trophies back in his tractor pulling days and Shannon has already won three trophies in various events.
"I don't know how they do it, but it's fun," Cheri said.
One tip to any potential tractor pedal kid seems to be maintaining part of Newton's inertia theory -- an object in motion stays in motion.
"Some of the kids just stop pedaling when it gets tough," Carlson said.
Carlson made sure his son Cael and nephew Cody didn't stop pedaling when the two boys entered the final round for the six-year-old competition. Carlson walked alongside of both and yelled "Pull" when they look ready to set their feet down to the ground.
The legwork paid off as Cody and Cael finished first and second, respectively. As Carlson left the arena, he said, "Well Cael is little disappointed, you never want to lose to the cousin."
Well, there's always next year.