In Ivanhoe, tractors still have pull

IVANHOE – Polska Kielbasa Days in Ivanhoe is known for its “tractor pull, parade and softball,” said Marvin Swanson.

This past weekend, all three of those events were highly attended.

Sunday afternoon started off with the parade, which had the theme of “Ivanhoe Salutes Hollywood,” and many of the floats were decorated accordingly.

Then, the crowds dispersed among the pie and ice cream social, activities in the park, softball and the popular tractor pull.

“It seems like there are more tractors than usual this year that are participating,” said Swanson, who has been participating since 1983.

Last year, the event was rained out, which made everyone that much more excited for this year’s event.

“The tractor pull has been one of the events that started when the Polska Kielbasa Days did in 1972. The Jerzaks and Olsens have been a part of it for all 41 years,” Carol Olsen said.

“My husband, Don Olsen, and Dan Jerzak were the first to organize it and have been doing it since. Don has two tractors and will be pulling for two events with each of them,” Carol Olsen said.

“At one point, we were doing 25 tractor pulls a summer, but now we are down to three,” Carol Olsen said.

It is hard to judge how many people are actually participating because often times the same person will have multiple tractors and the same tractor can participate in multiple events. Regardless, the event lasts all afternoon.

The bleachers were completely filled as the first event of 3500 Stock began.

There are six stock class events and seven open events. Trophies were awarded to those placing first through third in stock, and first and second in open.

“The open tractors are all souped up. Most of them play with different motors and are the hot rods,” Swanson said.

In the past, there have been women’s and men’s divisions, but this year there were only a couple women participating so they competed right alongside the men.

The tractor pull has become a family event that everyone is interested in participating in. Even 9-year-old Caden Jordahl was moving tractors before the event started.

“I started driving when I was 7, and I’m almost 10, so I’ve been doing this for three years already,” Jordahl said.