Fest gives adults shot at pedal power

Herald Staff Writer

CELESTINE — Why should the kids be the only ones to pull heavy stuff with tractors in a contest?

At Saturday’s Celestine Street Fest, adults will get their chance. An adult tractor pull is set for 3:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy Kurt Schepers

Adults need not worry about having a tractor. Event organizer Kurt Schepers has taken care of that by building a heavy-duty, durable pedal tractor that all entrants will use.

“I don’t think too many people will stick that much time into making their own,” he said. Schepers’ tractor took him three months to build.

Schepers said the idea to have a pedal tractor pull developed over the years as he and other dads took their children to kiddie tractor pulls. Last year, he and a friend built one and hosted an adult pull during the Dubois Ruritan’s Septemberfest.

“The tractor kept breaking down on us,” he said. “Everyone had fun, though.”

Schepers resolved that he would build a stronger tractor that would endure the stress and strain of being used time and again to pull extremely heavy loads. Last year, he finished the sled that goes on the back of the tractor. And over the winter months, he stripped a 1970s model John Deere lawn mower of its motor and rear end and built his perfect pedal tractor.

“I went to the extreme on it, I guess,” he said. “I like tinkering with things anyway.”

With donations of money, materials and services from 10 area businesses, Schepers did some welding to add a steel axle, sprockets and pedals to his invention.

“The hardest part was getting the pedals in the right place,” he said. “I wanted to set them in a place to make sure it works for everybody. I made two holes for the pedals and then welded them back closed, because I wasn’t happy with where they were.”

The seat adjusts back and forth, which Schepers said is important for drivers’ comfort. “Some adults could be 6 foot 2 and some could be 5 foot 2,” he said. “I wanted to make sure they could ride without their knees hitting them in the face.”

The machine, which weighs 300 pounds, can pull 600 pounds, Schepers said. That should ensure than people participating in the pull’s four categories — teens, women, men 199 pounds and less and men 200 pounds and more — will be challenged, he said.

“I really beefed this up,” Schepers said.

The event hasn’t happened yet and already Schepers is hearing from other people interested in having an adult pull at their events. “It sounds like I’ll be going to a couple of other festivals,” he said.

This is the third year for the street fest. Proceeds the festivals are being saved for the community’s 175th anniversary celebration in 2018.


Celestine Street Fest Schedule


7 a.m. 5K run/walk registration

8 a.m. 5K run/walk, tractor and antique machinery display opens

10 a.m. Hamburger stand opens, inflatables and booths for children, registration for kids races
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Balloon art

10 a.m.-7 p.m. Music by Boogie Tunes

10:30 a.m. Kids races, Hot Wheels race, kiddie tractor pull, obstacle course for children and adults

11:30 a.m. Threshing demonstration

Noon Sheephead registration and tourney

1 p.m. Cornhole tourney registration

2 p.m. Cornhole tourney, beer garden opens

3 p.m. Bratwurst-eating contest, adult tractor pull registration

3:30 p.m. Adult tractor pull, threshing demonstration

4-5 p.m. Cloggers perform

4-9 p.m. Meal stand open

4:30 p.m. Mass at St. Raphael Catholic Church

6 p.m. Mass at St. Celestine Catholic Church

8 p.m.-midnight Haywire Band

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all activities will be held in the vicinity of Happy Hour Sports Bar & Grill , 6679 State Road 164.

Online: www.facebook.com/celestinestreetfest

Contact Candy Neal at cneal@dcherald.com.

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