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Youth groups are active at Bakersville event

| August 3, 2022

Eleven-year-old Kendall Olinger is pulling while being coached by his father Kyle Olinger. (Brittany Finton)

When people think of Bakersville in the summer they think of tractor pulls and barbecued chicken. These activities while recreational, are major fundraisers for several of the local organizations such as the Bakersville Union Cemetery, Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department, Bakersville Community Park, Ridgewood FFA, and Progressive Livestock 4-H.

Several youth groups have important parts in the community events. Progressive Livestock 4-H Club has long been active helping. For the June pull they run the concession stand. This year they were open for 15 hours serving food and beverage to pullers and spectators. It is their major fundraiser of the year. They also wipe tables and help serve at the August homecoming. This year they did so well they made donations to the Bakersville Community Park and the Bakersville Union Cemetery from their proceeds. They feel it’s important to give back to the community.

Blue Ridge 4-H is going to help at the tractor pull in August lining up the tractors and keeping order. The Friday night antique pull is expected to have about 400 entries running on two tracks. They will be keeping the pullers in order and helping the announcing crew with puller identifications. They will be putting in about 10 hours working to make the pull run smoothly.

Ridgewood FFA has agreed this year to be a weight helping crew. Several of the pullers are elderly and it is hard to put weights on and off their tractors. The FFA has agreed to help so that pullers who haven’t came for awhile can come back and pull. There will be several pullers in their 80s and at least one in his 90s. The FFA youth have a deep respect and admiration of their elders and the Bakersville pulling legacy and they want to see it continue. They will have their pull over Labor Day Weekend.

The last group is the youngest pullers themselves. Pulling has gone on at Bakersville since August 1951. Bakersville has always worked with and encouraged the young pullers. The stone boat crew has an age limit of 16. It is a right of passage for farm youth at Bakersville when they become old enough to pull the stone boat pulls. The antique pull has no age limit and pullers as young as 8 or 9 have pulled. Many pullers have started their pulling here. All pullers under 18 are supervised by an adult. There will be an 80 year difference between the youngest and oldest pullers this year at the Friday night, Aug. 12 pull.

The Bakersville Homecoming will be Friday through Sunday, Aug. 12-14, at Bakersville.

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Category: People & Places

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