News

Optimist truck and tractor pull set to roar

By John Tapley, Ingersoll Times

The Norwich Optimist Club's 10th annual Truck and Tractor Pull will be roaring down the track at the Rettie farm on Evergreen Street north of Norwich Aug. 18 and 19. NORWICH GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

The Norwich Optimist Club's 10th annual Truck and Tractor Pull will be roaring down the track at the Rettie farm on Evergreen Street north of Norwich Aug. 18 and 19. NORWICH GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

The Norwich Optimist Club's 10th annual Truck and Tractor Pull will be roaring down the track Aug. 18 and 19.
 

Held at the Rettie Farm on Evergreen Street north of Norwich, the Ontario Tractor and Truck Pullers' Association (OTTPA) sanctioned event is the local Optimists' largest fundraiser of the year.
 

“All of the money we raise goes back into the community for kids' programs,” said club member Neil Dolson, explaining that the club is particularly focused on supporting Norwich Minor Soccer.
 

Competition starts at 6 p.m. on Friday and goes until about 9 p.m. then resumes at noon on Saturday, featuring local pullers and circuit pullers from across Ontario, Quebec and the United States.
 

OTTPA members will be competing for points in various classes at the event.
 

“The sanctioned pullers really like our event because we've got an excellent track,” Dolson said, explaining they like the way the track is run. “They like coming to Norwich because of that.”
 

The Big Creek Mini-Pullers group will also be on the track twice on Saturday.
 

He said a decade in the event continues to grow and pull in more spectators with about 4,000 people turning out over the weekend in 2016.
 

“For motor heads, this is a great venue to come and witness the sights and sounds,” said Dolson, explaining that the club is working to get the word out about the event as far as possible. “We're looking to grow every year.”
 

Besides horsepower, smoke and noise, the event will include live music with the Paul Nathan Band performing country and western tunes Friday night after competition wraps up.
 

Saturday night music will be provided by a DJ until the event wraps up between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
 

“We try to be all done Saturday before midnight,” Dolson said.
 

The pull will also feature a kids' zone with activities for the younger crowd.
 

The Optimists will be serving food at a booth on the north side of the track and a food truck on the south side of the track will be a new addition this year.
 

It isn't confirmed, but Dolson said it is hoped that the owner of a tractor powered with jet turbine engines from a helicopter will bring his rig up from the U.S. for the event again this year.
 

Between the 40 Optimist Club members and members of several community groups, it takes more than 100 volunteers to run the event.
 

“It's an intensive deal,” said Dolson, explaining that community volunteers assist with everything from parking to garbage clean up to raise funds for their groups. “All of our groups are integral part.”
 

Sponsors are also key to the event's success, he said.
 

There will be a free shuttle bus to Norwich, Otterville and Burgessville on Friday night starting at 11 p.m.
 

“You can't get a ride to the pull, but you can get a ride from the pull,” Dolson said.
 

There will also be a limited number of rough camping spots available at the site at a cost of $30 for a tent and $40 for a trailer.
 

Admission is $15 per person on Friday, $20 per person on Saturday or weekend passes can be purchased for $30. Children 12 and under are $10 per day or $20 for the weekend.
 

More information is available on the internet by searching Norwich T'N'T Pull on Facebook or going to www.norwichtractorpull.com