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Elburn Days has tractor pull, but not the usual kind
By Nancy Gier | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/29/2007 12:18 AM

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The tractor pull at Elburn Days had to be canceled this year due to a muddy field. Yet a tractor played a key role after the festival was over.

Skinners' Amusement Co. had trouble driving its semi-trailer truck out of the mud of Lions Park with the rides loaded onto it. Rain made parking in the field hazardous Saturday and Sunday of the weekend event, and nearly impossible on Monday.

But brothers Mike and Dave Pitstick saved the day when they showed up with their John Deere 4-wheel drive tractor. They hitched a chain onto the truck and the merry-go-round and tilt-a-whirl were on their way.

Carnival managers were so grateful they offered the brothers $500, but the Pitsticks insisted the money be given to Lions Club charities.

"It was another example of our theme for Elburn Days," said Joe Kryszak, who chaired the event. "Together we can do so much. It showed our community spirit. We needed their gigantic tractor to pull out the truck that was mired in mud."

Kryszak, who is immediate past-president of the club, said he made the decision to close Elburn Days early on Saturday due to continuing rain and safety issues.

"It was just a shame," he said. "There was nothing you could do. We didn't want anyone getting hurt."

Saturday's tractor pull was canceled when organizers realized the ground was just too wet, despite grading that went deeper than usual.

The weekend wasn't a complete fizzle, however.

The weather was lovely on Friday evening and Kryszak was cheered when he rode in the parade.

"The people were lined up 10 deep on each side of Main Street," he reported.

The Lions were able to hold their pork chop dinner and bingo on Sunday inside the pavilion at Lions Park, and the beer garden remained open.

All other Sunday events were canceled, but again, people rose to the occasion.

Instead of playing only three hours as scheduled, entertainers Pete and Tim played for seven and a half hours at the beer garden, according to Al Lee, Lions Club treasurer and beer garden manager.

"Even though most of us were wet and muddy, we had fun," Lee said. "A lot of my friends said it was the best Elburn Days ever."

Lee is concerned however, about the hit that the club took on revenue.

The Lions Club operates the 26-acre Lions Park and depends on income from Elburn Days to pay bills. The club also donates as much as $100,000 a year to charities.

"I think revenue was down 50 percent this year," Lee said of Elburn Days. "We will have to have more fundraisers."

Lee said the Leos Club lost money at its root beer float stand, but the youngsters are selling gallon containers of vanilla ice cream for $1.50.

Call Lions Park at (630) 365-6315 to purchase one.

In Sugar Grove

There will be a pie eating contest at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 8 at the Sugar Grove Farmers Market in the parking lot of the John Shields Elementary School, 85 S. Main St. The contest will be part of the village's 50th anniversary celebration.

Registration is limited to the first 10 contestants in each age division of 5 to 7, 8 to 10 and 11 to 13. Applications can be obtained online at, or picked up at the Sugar Grove village hall, the Sugar Grove Public Library or the Farmers Market held on Saturday mornings.

A parent or guardian must be present at the contest with the child and must sign a permission entry form. A $1 donation is suggested to help with awards.