One of the big hits for this year’s Music Fest weekend was a pedal pull contest held by a newly created and local company, Rough Rider Pedal Pulls owned by Bill and Peggy Davis.
By Melissa Anderson
“We felt it would be a valuable addition to our Music Fest weekend,” Peggy Davis stated.
Bill Davis has wanted to bring it to Music Fest for a few years. He felt it would be a good fit and something fun to keep people coming to Main Street during Music Fest. The Langdon summer event is most often considered as an adult event but not this year as there were numerous activities for kids including the Kiddie Carnival and the inflatables.
“It was perfect this year. The Rod Run also finished up their kid events in time for kids to make it to the pedal pull,” Davis noted.
Earlier this year the Davis’ began searching for pedal pull operators who could come to Langdon for Music Fest. Bill Davis called four pedal pull operators that operate in North Dakota to get necessary information on having the pulls and hopefully get someone to come to Music Fest.
“After two weeks, I had not gotten any response to calls or emails from any of them about coming to Langdon,” Davis recalled.
Originally from Iowa, the Davis family had fond memories of kid tractor pulls from when their own son participated in them. The Davis reached out to someone from Iowa who not only operates a pedal pull company but also builds some of the equipment. After speaking with the Iowa operator, it was decided that they could build their own tractors and buy the necessary equipment for pulls.
“We started building tractors and purchased the sled in April or May,” Davis said.
The Davis’s received financial assistance in the form of sponsors and also put forward some of their money to get the Rough Rider Pedal Pulls from an idea to a reality. Two sponsors, Langdon Implement and Park River Implement, stepped in by donating one pedal tractor each and giving the Davis’s a deal on a second tractor as well.
“We have a “tractor sponsor” sign that we hang at each event to thank Langdon Implement and Park River Implement for their sponsorship,” Davis added.
Bill Davis constructed the pedal pull tractors by adding steel frames, axels, bigger tires, sturdier pedals, and, in some cases, a bigger seat. Another change was the gearing for each tractor so that the tractors used for the older kids pedal harder than the ones for little kids.
“A regular pedal tractor would not hold up to this kind of use,” Davis said. “We also have the parts for more tractors to be built.”
With the four tractors, the Davis can switch tractors for different age groups. The age groups are 4-5 year olds, 6-7, 7-8, and the oldest at 9-11. Rough Rider Pedal Pulls is sanctioned by the North Dakota State Pedal Pull as well as the Minnesota organization, which means that the top three boys and top three girls from each age group have their names and addresses given to the state coordinator. From there the kids will receive paperwork that will allow them to compete at the state competition.
“If a group wants the pull to be sanctioned by the state, they pay the $25 fee to do so,” Davis said.
“We can also run ‘non-sanctioned’ pulls for fun,” Davis said.
So far, Rough Rider Pedal Pulls has conducted pulls at Park River on July 4 with 43 kids pulling, the Kittson County Fair in Hallock, Minn. on July 8 with 63 kids pulling, and Music Fest July 15 with 50 kids pulling.
“The trophies have been sponsored at the events we have done so far,” Davis shared.
Park River Implement sponsored trophies and ribbons at their 4th of July event, Kittson County provided their own trophies. Scott Peterson, owner of Preferred Auto Body & Glass, sponsored the trophies at Music Fest. Other sponsors and assistance for Music Fest was provided by Lebanon Lodge #34, F & M Bank gave the water bottles and helped with volunteers, and Nacho Bizness provided a coupon for free nachos from their food truck to first place in each age group.
Coming up, Rough Rider Pedal Pulls will be at the Marshall County Fair in Warren, Minn. on July 23 and the ND State Fair in Minot on July 25, but it should be noted this event is not state competition.
“If any kids need community service hours, we will sign off for you. We need approximately four volunteers at each pull to help,” Davis said.
Find more information on Rough Rider Pedal Pulls and also view photos and videos from events as well as future events on their Facebook page.
If there are any groups or events who would like to book Rough Rider Pedal Pulls, please contact Bill Davis at 701-256-3490 (home number).