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updated: 8/16/2014 6:26 PM

Elburn Days festival features new events, old favorites

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  • Rustin Angerola, 3, of Elburn reacts as a truck in the 6,500 AS 4 x 4 class takes off from the starting line at the truck and tractor pull at Elburn Days Saturday. His friend and neighbor, Hayden Deutsch, 3, is on the right.

       Rustin Angerola, 3, of Elburn reacts as a truck in the 6,500 AS 4 x 4 class takes off from the starting line at the truck and tractor pull at Elburn Days Saturday. His friend and neighbor, Hayden Deutsch, 3, is on the right.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Mike Sauter of Tonica races his '58 Super Oliver 880 tractor in the 5,000 NA SS class at the truck and tractor pull at Elburn Days Saturday.

       Mike Sauter of Tonica races his '58 Super Oliver 880 tractor in the 5,000 NA SS class at the truck and tractor pull at Elburn Days Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Lara Tuma of Paw Paw competes in the 5,000 NA SS class tractor pull with a '40 John Deere G 2-cylinder tractor named "2 is Enough" at Elburn Days Saturday. This is her first year competing.

       Lara Tuma of Paw Paw competes in the 5,000 NA SS class tractor pull with a '40 John Deere G 2-cylinder tractor named "2 is Enough" at Elburn Days Saturday. This is her first year competing.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Evan Olson of Maple Park competes in the 6,500 AS 4 x 4 truck class with his '68 Ford F250 at Elburn Days Saturday.

       Evan Olson of Maple Park competes in the 6,500 AS 4 x 4 truck class with his '68 Ford F250 at Elburn Days Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Judson Partridge of Ottawa's '47 Chevy truck titled "Thee Ogre" waits to race in the 6,200 SS 4 x 4 truck class at Elburn Days Saturday.

       Judson Partridge of Ottawa's '47 Chevy truck titled "Thee Ogre" waits to race in the 6,200 SS 4 x 4 truck class at Elburn Days Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Mike Sauter of Tonica leaves the racetrack with his '58 Oliver Super 880 at the Elburn Days tractor pull on Saturday.

       Mike Sauter of Tonica leaves the racetrack with his '58 Oliver Super 880 at the Elburn Days tractor pull on Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Diesel smoke clears after Chris Lemke of Sheridan finishes competing in the 6,500 AS 4 x 4 class with his '95 Dodge truck at Elburn Days Saturday.

       Diesel smoke clears after Chris Lemke of Sheridan finishes competing in the 6,500 AS 4 x 4 class with his '95 Dodge truck at Elburn Days Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

Even with 85 years of Elburn Days, there's always something new mixed in with festival traditions when residents come out to Lions Park.

A pie-baking contest debuted this year, joining the craft show, carnival rides, food vendors, livestock judging and mud volleyball tournament.

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For Kyle Westrom, however, the big draw is the truck and tractor pull. The Elburn man and his extended family have been coming to the event for about 15 years and have a viewing spot right near the starting line.

"It's a good family event. Fun for the kids," he said.

The truck and tractor pull Saturday featured the machinery in five different classes. John Deere, Farmall and Oliver tractors delighted the crowds, as well as Ford, Dodge and Chevy trucks.

Children watching on the sidelines wearing protective ear coverings broke into huge smiles as engines revved and tires dug into the dirt at the starting line.

Westrom's sister, Jill Jeppesen, also of Elburn, cheered on friend Lara Tuma of Paw Paw, Illinois, who was competing in the tractor pull with a two-cylinder 1940 John Deere G tractor.

"I love coming up here," Jeppesen said. "It's just become tradition for our family."

About 30,000 to 40,000 attendees visit the festival each year, said Chris Halsey, a member of the Elburn Days committee.

The festival continues Sunday. Highlights include a craft show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., mud volleyball at 11:30 a.m. and livestock auction at 1 p.m., all at Lions Park, 500 Filmore St.

"Everyone comes to Elburn Days for a different reason," event chairman Dave Broz said last week. "We really try and provide a place for anyone in the community to come and have a good time."

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