CHAMPION – Horses. Mud. Tractors. These are all sure signs that the 57th Annual Champion Horse Pulling is in full swing.

The event began Friday with pony pulls. Entertainment later in the evening featured local band Shot Gun Kelly and State 51.

The competition involved teams of two ponies, hooked up to a sled that grew heavier with each round, to see who was the strongest. The event is put on as a fundraiser by the Champion-Humboldt Volunteer Fire Department.

“It also helps a lot of people around town by bringing is some business” said event volunteer Jeannie Carlisle. “And never in a million years would I have thought it would have lasted this long.”

New this year are 4-wheeler mud drag events and U.P. garden tractor pulls. Those events start off at 11 a.m. with the mud drags. Carlisle said two 4-wheelers will race through the mud to see who can make it through the fastest – if they make it at all.

“We did some mud drags last year and there was some complaints that there wasn’t enough mud,” Carlisle said. “But with all the rain there’s been this past week, that won’t be a problem. There’s plenty of mud out here.”

A live music performance is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. with Trailer Hitch. BBQ chicken, children’s games and pony rides are available throughout the day. Carlisle said it takes a lot of work to pull things together, but it’s a lot of fun once it kicks off.

“People should come out because it’s fun, different and for the whole family,” Carlisle said. “We’ll be here from 8 a.m. to midnight, so come on out for a good time.”

The Champion horse pulling grounds are along U.S.41/M-28. Attendees can follow the signs once they get to Champion. Admission it $6 for adults, $3 for seniors and children under 12 years old get in for free.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is awhitefoot@miningjournal.net.