The Huntingdon Agricultural Society, which has had to cancel its annual fair for a second year in a row, may well be in the works. In lieu of a full fair, the organizers have decided to go ahead with the traditional track activities, including the tractor pulls and demolition derby. As one of only a handful of shows taking place this summer, competitors from far and wide are flocking to secure a slot at the Huntingdon fairgrounds, where visitors will be in for a very loud weekend of sensational events.
“We are seeing extremely high participation numbers for competitors, and the calibre of machines that are coming is amazing,” says Jon Van Horne, a member of the Huntingdon Fair board and president of the Association Sportive de Tire de Tracteur du Quebec (ASSTQ).
This year’s ASSTQ tractor pull will mark the tenth year in a row the association has worked with the Huntingdon Fair to grow the event as well as the sport of tractor pulling in Quebec.
“The Huntingdon tractor pull is very well known in the pulling community for having one of the best clay tracks for high-powered machines,” says Van Horne, who notes the type of clay trucked in from a site on the Gore Road has served as a great asset, as it allows tractors to have more traction than on many of the other tracks on the circuit. The Huntingdon track is also one of a very few double tracks in Quebec, which allows for a more continuous show with simultaneous classes taking place.
Van Horne, who competes regularly at the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio, has used his connections to entice some of the finest pullers to consider the Huntingdon event. Faced with so few pulling opportunities, a number have taken him up on the challenge, with some coming from as far away as Ontario and Prince Edward Island.
The event will feature several categories including mini modified tractors, four-wheel drive trucks, super stock tractors, ProFarm tractors, and two-wheel drive trucks and semi-trucks. It will take place on August 13 and 14.
Van Horne says he is especially thankful that the fair board and local sponsors continued to support the idea of holding track activities at the fairgrounds despite the pandemic. “We have worked hand in hand with local health authorities to make sure the event is run in a safe manner, and have guidelines to follow for an outdoor event,” he says, adding that protocols will be in place on-site.
New installation at fairgrounds
Fans of the tractor pull will also be among the first to try out a new bar, recently installed at the fairgrounds, which is made from an old grain bin that was donated to the Huntingdon Agricultural Society.
“It’s an idea we had a few years ago,” says president Glen Moore of the unique structure. The cement was poured for the floor last fall, and the rest of the installation took place over the spring and summer.
Moore admits it is unfortunate that fair activities other than those taking place on the track were cancelled, but he says the interest in the tractor pull and demolition derby from competitors and fans should make for a smashing weekend.
The ASTTQ tractor pull will take place on Friday, August 13 starting at 7 p.m., and on Saturday, August 14 starting at 6:30 p.m. The demolition derby will take over the track starting at noon on Sunday.