FOREST — A sea of jeans, cowboy boots, trucker hats, and camouflage filled the bleachers at Sims Farm on Saturday evening.
Sims Farm’s 13th Annual Truck and Tractor pull attracted well over 200 people eager to cheer on their favorite trucks and tractors.
The smell of popcorn, hot dogs, fries and other classic carnival foods filled the air as country music blasted over speakers. Machines prepped the dirt track and spectators took their seats on the sidelines as drivers in the first of six classes lined up for the first race.
“We have been setting up for about a week,” said Lisa Moore, assistant event coordinator. She’s been involved with the event for the past two years. It grew out of an antique truck and tractor pull Josh Sims said his father, Ed Sims, the owner of the farm, hosted about 16 years ago.
Ed Sims said excess money raised by the event goes to different organizations, such as the Brookville High School After Grad event. The event offers graduates of Brookville an opportunity to go back to the high school post-graduation and enjoy an entire night of games, food, prizes and fun.
The concept behind Saturday’s boisterous event is straightforward, according to Sims. The longer drivers pull, the higher they place in their events.
“The trucks are hooked onto a sled,” Josh Sims said.
The giant red and black sled holds about 40,000 pounds of weight, Josh Sims guessed. He went on to point to the front of the sled, to a long, metal chain resting in the dirt that soon would be hooked to the back of competitor’s trucks. The objective is for the driver to see how far they can pull the sled down the straight dirt path, aiming for a “full pull” of 325 feet.
For University of Lynchburg student Kaitlyn Barber, 19, the pull is the highlight of the summer.
“I’ve been coming for forever. It’s just tradition,” Barber said.
Barber brought her college roommate Makenna May, 19, so she could experience the loud vehicles, exhaust-filled air and fun for the first time.
“I just decided to come with her,” May laughed.
Like Barber, Destine Evans is a veteran of the event. Evans has been coming with her husband and two sons for the past five years.
“My kids love anything with trucks and tractors. They just love it,” Evans said. “It’s a nice family night out.”
Christian and Peyton Evans, 11 and 10 years old respectively, stood against the cement barrier along the strip of dirt in order to be as close to the action as possible. Christian said he likes all the trucks, but Peyton was a bit more particular.
“I like the Dodges,” Peyton said.
As the first group of 8050 RWB Street Diesel trucks lined up, driver Ernest Coleman, 33, of Farmville, readied his 2004 F350 truck. Coleman has been pulling for six years in different local pulls.
“Everyone has a hobby and this is mine,” Coleman said.
Exhaust and dirt filled the air during the course of three hours as each driver had a go down the track. Spectators, ranging in age from babies through senior citizens, cheered loudly enjoying another year of trucks and tractors.
“It’s not summer if you don’t come,” Barber said.