June 14th, 2024

Community gathers to test endurance of tractors

By Justin Sibbet - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 5, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Sibbet Erin Nicol gets the most out of her antique tractor during a tractor pull event at the Coyote Flats Pioneer Village in Picture Butte.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDjsibbet@lethbridgeherald.com

An authentically Albertan event consisting of farmers with old tractors, pushing their engines to the limit brought the town of Picture Butte to life.

The long-running annual Tractor Pull event was held at the Coyote Flats Pioneer Village in the community just north of Lethbridge this past weekend. Spectators were treated to tractors no more recent than the 60s, all competing to see which had the greatest torque left in the tank.

“The club started 41 years ago and it just started out in Turin and a bunch of old farmers who just wanted to work on their tractors,” said Will Broeska, volunteer and vice president on the board of directors for Coyote Flats Pioneer Village. “It just kind of grew and morphed into what it is now.”

The objective was to fire up the antique equipment and drag increasingly heavier weight for the furthest possible distance. Six weight-based classes were compiled to ensure competition remained fair and exciting.

Broeska says it is great to keep the tractors alive and still put to use even after 60 or more years.

“(We) just clean up the old tractors and the old village and try to keep that history alive.”

Dick Indenbosch worked as the announcer for the pull, saying half of the fun is showing off.

“All these guys, they dig up these old tractors and they get them to have a little competition to see who can outpull each other,” said Indenbosch. “These are the tractors they farmed with years ago.”

He says the event has remained a staple in the community, evolving as needed but it has never changed its core principles.

“It’s pretty much the same. They’ve upgraded the track and stuff, but they still use the old antique tractors and sled.”

Thankfully for organizers and spectators alike, the warm sun kept the tractor pulling more fun.

“It’s been cancelled a few times because of the wet weather, or the cold or whatever, but today is a beautiful day and everybody is out here enjoying it.”

With the tractor pull being the main event of the day, Broeska says there is always something going on at the village.

“It’s just a great time to come out with the family, they can wander around the village if they’d like, we have concessions going on and it’s just great fun seeing the old tractors,” said Broeska. “We have events all through the summer.”

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