What better location for an extreme sport contest than the mighty Mississippi River? Yearly, the towns of Port Byron, Illinois and LeClaire, Iowa send ten or more tug-of-war teams to square off across the water in the so-called Tug Fest, which is said to be the world’s longest tug-of-war.
This year’s Tug Fest will took place August 9-11. On each side of the divide, muscled competitors grapple with a roughly 2500-foot rope that weighs some 700 pounds when dry. Once the rope dips in the water, it gets a whole lot heavier.
The Tug Fest opens with a wild “rumble over the river” fireworks display and proceeds with carnival rides, a 5km run and a car show alongside the main event.
“To top it all off, we showcase outstanding local and regional entertainment all weekend long,” the organizers say.
Over the past quarter century since the event debuted, the score has been fairly even. Now, Illinois has a fractional edge. Judging by the footage, Tug Fest is an adrenaline-fueled blast and a great workout to boot. The river shuts down for the epic occasion that offers the winning team a majestic alabaster eagle.