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LeClaire, Port Byron Prepare For Tug Of War Across Mississippi River

Tug Fest
from Tug Fest in 2016
Credit Tug Fest
from the 2012 Tug Fest

One of the Quad Cities' strangest summer events will be held this weekend.   

The 32nd annual Tug Fest will be held in two towns across the Mississippi River from each other, LeClaire, Iowa and Port Byron, Illinois.

Herb Trix reports.

The annual festival includes the usual carnival rides, food, and live entertainment. But the centerpiece each year is the tug of war across the Mississippi river.

For three hours on Saturday afternoon, commercial traffic stops, and a 2,700 foot rope, weighing 600 pounds, is stretched across the river. 11 teams from each compete during 3-minute tugs. So far, Illinois leads 20 to 11. 

Cindy Bruhn is LeClaire'sTourism Manager.

"But we always have a really good party. So in the end we don't worry as much about winning as the whole experience and fun of it. "

 The organizers are probably right when they say it's the only tug-of-war competition in the country between two states, and the only one that closes the Mississippi River.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.