ABERFOYLE – This year is a big year for the Aberfoyle Fall Fair.
After almost two years, the fair is returning to its regular schedule of live events – and that includes the popular tractor pull events.
It was 180 years ago when several Puslinch farmers organized an exhibition to showcase rural life, and to compete for cash prizes and ribbons in various classes.
Back then, things were simple, and the annual fair was a big deal.
When the traction engine started to appear in the late 1800s in Wellington County, it was a game changer for farmers.
There are still several steam traction engines that are fully functioning and on display today. These mighty machines could do the work of several teams of horses or oxen and could work for hours on end without stopping.
The steam traction engines made way for internal combustion engines and diesel tractors that we see on the farm today.
Fast forward 180 years and fall fairs are still a strong and very important part of rural living and farm life.
And the Aberfoyle Fall Fair showcases many of the different brands and types of tractors that were used over the 19th century. Some are even still working on the farm today.
Each year, the Aberfoyle Fall Fair hosts a friendly antique tractor pull, where you can see some of these machines do what they do best: work hard. Winners compete for cash prizes and bragging rights.
Last year organizers managed to host a lawn tractor and ATV pull that attracted competitors from across the province as Aberfoyle was one of only three competitions in Ontario in 2021.
But they did not hold the antique tractor pull.
“There was too much COVID,” organizer Vince Klimkosz said in a phone interview. “It’s not a young person’s sport anymore.”
But this year it’s back. Klimkosz said there were about 70 competitors in the tractor pull in 2019, “and we could definitely use more pullers this year.”
The antique pull starts on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7pm with a weigh-in starting at 6pm. Those wishing to compete can pre-register online, call to register, or just show up for the weigh-in, Klimkosz said.
For the past decade the fair has also been running a lawn tractor and ATV pull on Saturday afternoon on Fair day.
These tractors are scaled down, but you would be totally surprised at how much they can pull, said Klimkosz.
Weigh-in for this event starts at 3pm on the Saturday and pulls start at 4pm. ATVs and side by sides also compete in pulls on the same afternoon.
Youth can often get involved with the garden tractors, and there even is a 4H club that is geared towards building and competing in garden tractor pulls.
With some minor mechanical skill, there is fun for the entire family, officials say.
For more information on the pulls, call Jamie Bousfield at 226-979-5331 or Vince Klimkosz at 519-820-3639.
For more information on the fair, visit https://sites.google.com/view/aberfoyleagriculturalsociety/home.