*This story was featured in the Hastings Tribune on July 25, 2016.
On a cool and windy day, kids and parents alike gathered at Windmill Park Sunday afternoon for the Adams County Fairfest pedal tractor pull.
This year’s competition featured 30-plus kids, ranging from ages 4 to 12 and gave them all a chance to win a purple ribbon and a free soda.
For 9-year-old Nicolas Reynolds, the event was a new, but worthwhile experience.
“My dad asked me if I wanted to do it, so I did it,” he said. “I really liked getting to ride the tractor.”
For the event, kids climb aboard a pedal tractor equipped with various weights on the back of the tractor. The rider pedals down the track to see who can travel the furthest distance. The weights and tractors vary by age group and tends to get heavier the further the tractor goes.
“We have like six tractors and they’re all lengthened. The older you get, the longer the tractor is,” said event coordinator Cindy Ash. “(Bruce) changes the skid plate that makes it harder to pull.”
The kids are separated by age and sex and are then paired with the corresponding size of tractor.
While every participant received a reward, only three kids from each class earned the right to represent Adams County at the Nebraska State Fair.
“They qualify for the state pull at all the county fairs,” Ash said.
Cindy and her husband, Bruce, have plenty of experience with kids’ tractor pulls, considering they attend about 20 county fairs a year. Despite the long weekends spent at fairs, seeing the kids’ reactions during the event is reward enough.
“I just like seeing the kids’ faces,” Ash said. “They like to win and they even like to lose. It’s just a good kids’ event for any age and really any person can do it.”