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

Aug 10, 2018

from the 2012 Tug Fest
Credit 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.