ARCOLA — Next week, the Arcola National Truck and Tractor Pull will return to Branning Park.
A remnant of the annual Arcola Days festival, the event returns for its 65th year in 2018. Over 300 volunteers will gather to make the event possible. The pull operates exclusively as a fundraiser for the Arcola Volunteer Fire Department.
The Arcola National Truck and Tractor Pull is a three-day event, June 28-30. Thursday’s event includes the Michindoh Pullers, including eight vehicle classes. Friday and Saturday are National Tractor Pullers Association events, including mini modifieds, four-wheel drive, modifieds, heavy super stock, light pro stock, two-wheel drive and 3.0 pro stock diesel 4×4, which was introduced for the first time last year.
“Some people like the trucks, some people like the tractors. It’s kind of a personal preference on that. If they’ve never been there before, I would recommend earplugs,” said Matt Butts, tractor pull chairman and assistant engineer for the Arcola Fire Department.
Ear plugs will be available for purchase, or spectators can bring their own.
Sponsors and vendors will have booths set up all three days, and there will be beer, food and souvenir tents available as well. The Arcola Lions will return to sell popcorn this year, and elephant ears will also be available for purchase.
Spectators can bring coolers into the stadium as long as they do not contain glass or alcoholic beverages of any kind. Coolers can be no larger than 14×14 inches. A measuring box will be available at each gate. Pets other than service animals are not permitted on the grounds.
Last year’s event was rained out Friday, but Saturday was standing room only due to the exceptionally large crowd size, Butts said, adding that additional parking will be available this year to accommodate a larger number of guests.
“We also changed the ticket booths around a little bit so we can get people through the gates faster,” Butts said.
Pullers from around the country will compete at the event, including several Fort Wayne and Huntertown residents.
“The pullers come and go. There’s some pullers that have been pulling out here for 20 years or better,” Butts said.
New this year, community members will introduce “Pulling For Arcola Day” June 30, to give local people, as well as tractor pullers, their families and town visitors some other things to enjoy outside the evening pulls.
The Saturday event will begin with a free-will breakfast at the Arcola Fire Station from 7-10 a.m. Then, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., a variety of activities will be available, including a flea market in the Arcola United Methodist Church parking lot with free entertainment, a Ziffles Famous Ribs food tent and various yard sales around town. Other events may be planned before the pull.
The community is still looking for vendors, especially any that sell ice cream or craft items. Anyone interested in reserving a free selling location should contact Arcola United Methodist Church at (260) 625-4103.
Gates open at 5 p.m. each night, with pulls beginning at 7 p.m.
All tickets can be purchased at the gate. The cost for Thursday’s pull is $10 for everyone age 13 and older, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for those 5 and younger. Tickets for the each of the Friday and Saturday events are $16 for ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for those 5 and younger.
For more information, visit www.arcolapull.org.
Branning Park is located on Reed Street, just north of the intersection of Arcola and Eme roads.