About 15 or 16 years ago, something new rolled into Glen Rose.
For local resident Lloyd Wirt, who helped organize the event on county property in the sweltering summer heat, the tractor pull was about sharing his love of farm equipment with fellow enthusiasts.
"At that time, there weren't too many tractor shows around, and not many people were talking about antiques," Wirt said. "I was raised on a farm and always liked the equipment. I went to Sam Houston State and worked on the college farm. As a grown person, tractors and farm equipment were something I still enjoyed."
So Wirt and a few friends, decided to form a local group and hosted a little show on county property, where Sonic Drive Inn now sits. Wirt said he worked really hard promoting the event and put in a lot of miles, posting fliers. He said that first event welcomed about 85 entries and, over the years, the July 4 show became something community members and equipment enthusiasts from far and wide didn't want to miss.
"It really caught on," Wirt said, adding the show moved around the city before finding a home at the Somervell County Expo Center.
Before long, people started asking why the Glen Rose Antique Tractor and Machinery Club didn't hold a winter event. So, about four years after the club's inaugural pull, the Winter Antique Tractor Show & Pull was organized. This weekend, the 12th annual winter event will be held.
"It's a big hit this time of year," Wirt said. "Pullers have been working on their tractors through the winter, and they've started getting cabin fever. We are able to host the first major show of the season in an excellent facility, no matter what the weather's like."
Competitors and spectators will roll in from across the Lone Star State Friday and others will cross state lines to attend the event, which Wirt says promises good, clean fun for the whole family,
The action will gear up at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, as pullers tweak their engines and get ready for competition. At 10 a.m. Saturday, a full-day of competition kicks off as pullers face off for trophies, showing off thousands of dollars and countless hours of hard work and dedication.
For spectators and exhibitors who favor a more laid back atmosphere, an antique show will exhibit an array of tractors, tracing their evolution. Wirt said some will look better than brand new - sparkling with a fresh coat of paint and a shiny polished exterior. Others will show the marks of time - rust and wear - while running like they just rolled off the showroom floor.
Around noon, the pulling will come to a halt to make way for a tractor parade featuring antique exhibit tractors. Wirt will offer information on the entries' history, how they rank against other tractors of their time and more.
Meanwhile, another crowd pleaser, the Kiddie Tractor Pull, will welcome children, 3-12 years old, as they face off for bragging rights of their own. The pint-sized competitors will jump on one of the club's two peddle tractors and use elbow grease and leg power to pull a sled that works like the real deal, getting progressively harder to pull as they advance.
"It gets pretty competitive with the bigger kids," Wirt said, adding all entrants receive an official T-shirt and the top competitors are awarded trophies.
Vendors and concessions will be available, but Wirt said it will be an alcohol-free event.
Admission is $5 for those 12 years old and older. In addition to funding the costs associated with leasing the expo center, the money is also used for scholarships for Glen Rose and Walnut Springs students, medical assistance and other needs.
For more information, call Alan Steele at (254) 897-1876, Russ Krueger at 396-3980 or Roxanne Secrest at 485-2331.