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Bakersville gearing up for homecoming

| August 7, 2019

BAKERSVILLE – The Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department and the Bakersville Community Park will host their annual homecoming Friday through Sunday, Aug. 9-11, at the Bakersville Community Park, State Route 751.

“It’s like a big family reunion,” said Chief John Ridenour from the fire department. “Most of these people you only see once a year.”

The homecoming starts on Friday with the chicken barbeque at 4 p.m. The meal includes a half chicken, potato salad, apple sauce, roll, drink, and dessert, which are donated from community members.

“We do the potato salad by hand and cook the chicken ourselves,” Ridenour said. “We use our own secret recipe and it’s been around since the early 1950s. Our retired assistant chief and his son take care of the barbecue and the recipe we use was his father’s. It’s not your normal barbecue.”

They plan on cooking their usually 800 chicken halves, which Ridenour said should last them until around 9 p.m.

After dinner you can head over to the arena for the antique tractor pull (1970 and older), which starts at 3 p.m. For more information on the pull call Larry Stahl at 740-498-6491. Musical entertainment will be provided by Matt Shannon from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and Wacky’s Country Experience from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, breakfast will be served starting at 7 a.m. and the tractor pull starts at 9:30 a.m. Classes are 5,500#, 8,500#, and 12,500#. The kiddie tractor pull starts at 1 p.m. with registration beginning at noon. Musical entertainment will be provided by Barefoot McCoy from 5 to 7 p.m.

A community worship service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Pastor Chuck Beckett from the Salem Evans Creek Lutheran Church will lead the service. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The tractor pull starts at 1 p.m. and the classes are 7,000# and 10,500#.

All proceeds benefit the Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department and the Bakersville Community Park.

“We will put money in our general fund for now, but in the future we are looking into putting an addition on the station and buying another engine,” Ridenour said.

How it works

By Wendi Mizer Stachler

On Saturday and Sunday, the tractors pull what is called a stoneboat or deadweight sled. The sled itself weighs approximately 5,000 pounds and additional concrete weights are added at the end of each round within each class – one full weight weighs around 1,000 pounds. Using the stoneboat sled would be similar to a tractor hooking up to something in the field, such as a tree stump or another piece of equipment, for example, and needing to pull it out.

The stoneboat sled is owned by the community; therefore, there is no additional expense to use the sled. The community has been very fortunate that a local concrete company has stepped up in the past and has continued to donate concrete whenever new sled weights need to be formed and made.

The weights added to the sled change each year. Over the years, for example, the 5,000/5,500 pound class would begin with sometimes just the sled which was approximately 1,500 pounds. On average, that class could end with a weight of the sled plus 4,000 pounds or more being pulled. Another example would be the weight class on the opposite end which would be the 12,500 pound class. This class would begin with the sled and approximately 9,000 pounds, and end with the sled plus 15,000 pounds being pulled.

Some people do not realize that when we talk about weight classes, we are talking about the combined weight of the driver, the tractor, and weights on the tractor. If drivers and tractors weigh out at the end of their class weighing more than that class’ limit, then the tractor and driver would be disqualified.

We are very fortunate to have businesses and individuals who donate all of the trophies for these classes, the use of a loader to move weights on/off the sled, a water wagon to keep the dust down, and the use of a tractor and blade to keep the arena track in good shape. Regardless of who is doing what or who has donated what, it still comes down to support of this small, rural community and the big heart of those who make it happen.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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