Popular truck and tractor pulls are returning to the London-Laurel County Fairgrounds next month, while benefitting young Laurel County farmers at the same time.
The “Blue and Gold Battle” will be held at the fairgrounds on July 22nd and 23rd. The pull will serve as a fundraiser and publicity event for the Future Farmers of America clubs at North Laurel and South Laurel High Schools.
“Blue and Gold are the national FFA colors,” said Brandon Fawbush with the North Laurel FFA. “These pullers are coming from two or three states away and it will be a sanctioned event on their schedule. We call it the Blue and Gold battle because we want them to know that it benefits the FFA in Laurel County.”
Truck and tractor pulls were always a big part of the Laurel County Fair each summer. After the fair was cancelled due to Covid and other reasons, local enthusiasts met in early March to see if the pulls could resume.
“With us not having a county fair, this will be something for people to come and see, and get our students involved in an exciting fundraising event,” said Jason McWhorter with the South Laurel FFA. “We can raise money to help our kids for the state convention, national convention and all our contests.”
The president of the Kentuckiana Truck Pullers Association that is sanctioning the event said he loves the idea of bringing the event back to London and helping young farmers at the same time.
“I’m a big FFA supporter,” said KTPA president Brandon Cox of Campbellsville. “One of the biggest and oldest pulls in the nation is run by the FFA. We came up there for the fair for about 20 years. We always had a great time there. The pullers really like it. The crowd was excellent.”
Cox said he expects about 60 pullers each night from as far away as Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia to compete in five classes. There will also be three county open classes to get the local pullers involved. The fun will start each night at 7 p.m. Spectators can buy a ticket from any North or South FFA member prior to event for $10. Admission at the gate will be $15.
“I’d say 80 percent of these pullers will stay at a local motel or camp in London,” he said. “So it’s going to be good for the community as well.”
That was the view of the City of London Tourism, which authorized Fawbush to use the fairgrounds and donated a substantial amount to the event at its meeting last month.
“The way it’s all come together has been a blessing really,” Fawbush said. “Everyone has been very supportive. We want to get our community involved in something that we hope will be an annual event and get FFA on people’s minds.”
Removal of the old horse ring and dilapidated bleachers at the fairgrounds last year will allow the KTPA to make the track wider, longer and safer, Cox said. Portable bleachers will be available for spectators, but he said most will bring their own chairs and sit on the grassy bank overlooking the track.
“We will build a good track there because it’s kind of an open canvas,” Cox said. “I think it’s going to be a great weekend.”