Children get a taste of the competition at the tractor pull.
By LAURA MILOSER
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The tractor pulls are a big part of most county fairs, and Lawrence County's is no exception.
However, this fair's tractor pull has a twist: The tractors burn no fuel. They're pedal-powered.
The New Holland, John Deere and International tractors were powered by children ages 3 to 8.
The pedal tractor pull has been a children's event at the Lawrence County Fair for 20 years.
Wayne Cooper of Fombell, Pa., who officiated at the pedal pull, started the contest at the Antique Steam Show in Portersville, Pa., in October 1980.
"It was a crazy bug I had," Cooper said.
A total of 124 children participated in Thursday's pedal pull. The contest was divided into age groups.
The 3-year-olds pedaled tractors pulling 25 pounds of weight on the weight transfer sled. The weight increased by 20 pounds for each age group, with the 8-year-olds pulling 125 pounds.
Announcing the contest
Auctioneer Dale Cunningham of Ellwood City has been announcing the pedal pull since it started.
Cunningham announces each child and where they are from as the children prepare to get in line. "I like to make the kids feel this big," he said, raising his hand above his head, when they hear their name announced.
Each child receives a ribbon and a Lawrence County Fair T-shirt for participating. The entry fee is a dollar.
Cooper said he has traveled to Anchorage, Alaska, two times with his tractors and sleds.
He said he is starting to retire. Vernon and Aimee Stoops of Evans City, Pa., are now starting to take over Cooper's hobby.
The fair continues today through Saturday at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds on Pa. Route 108 in Hickory Township.