For more than 30 years kids of all ages have gathered under the pavilion at the Bollinger County Fair to either participate or cheer on other riders of the Kiddy Tractor Pull. This year the famous Kiddy Tractor Pull is back, but there will be one less face cheering on the pullers of Bob’s Sled.
Bob VanGennip a local businessman, father, and community supporter brought kiddy tractor pull to Bollinger County after visiting a local fair and watching how much fun it was for the youth. Bob’s daughter Christy says she can remember pulling when she was just 5 , and says each year there has been around 50 boys and girls line up to take their turn at the Kiddy Tractor Pull.
After years of using the make-shift sled and volunteers tossing in bricks as the young peddlers would roll past, Bob had a replica of an actual tractor pull sled built, and well known local artist Tom Runnels put his stamp on this beloved toy.
This past May, Mr. VanGennip passed away, but his daughter Christy says the Tractor Pull must go on. Christy said “this will be a bittersweet year, hearing all the memories of her dad, watching parents that once participated in the tractor pull now cheer on their little peddlers”. Christy along with several other volunteers has spent every festival beside her Dad organizing, cheering, and handing out ribbons and prizes to all the great pullers. Christy says, “I want my children to continue to look forward to this and remember how great it was grandpa was there.”
The kiddy tractor pull at the Bollinger County Fall Festival takes place on October 13th starting at 12 pm under the pavilion in the Marble Hill Ball Park. For more information on the tractor pull and other events at the Bollinger County Fall Festival visit their website.