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35th annual tug fest between LeClaire, Port Byron kicks off Aug. 11

Find live music, carnival rides, great food, a grand fireworks display at the annual tug-of-war event between Iowa and Illinois.

LE CLAIRE, Iowa — Get your muscles warmed up for the 35th annual Tug Fest celebration! The 3-day event is being held on Aug. 11-13 with a “Mardi Gras – Beads and Boots” theme.

The event hosts live music, carnival rides, food, a 5K run, parade, fireworks and the iconic tug-of-war match between Port Byron and LeClaire across the Mississippi River.

For the tug event, boat traffic freezes as a 2,700-foot-long, 680-pound rope stretches across the entire river. Eleven teams from each side of the river will compete to pull the most feet of rope, with the overall winner getting the Alabaster Eagle trophy and year-long bragging rights.

This year, Tug-for-a-Cause benefits the 911 Memorial at the LeClaire Fire Department. 

Schedule of events:

Thursday, Aug. 11: 

  • Family Night, with free admission to all
  • 4:30 p.m. - Carnival, vendors, Beverage Tent, and Bingo open
  • 5-10 p.m. - Carnival Wristband Night, $25 for unlimited rides
  • 6:30 p.m. - Bags tournament on the North End
  • 7-11 p.m. - Live music from acoustic duo Ky & Ty and the other guy

Friday, Aug. 12:

  • Grand parade
  • Fireworks spectacular 
  • Live music performed by North of 40

Saturday, Aug. 13:

  • 7 a.m. - Community Tug Fest Breakfast at the Civic Club.
  • 8 a.m. - 1m/5K Tug Run.
  • 8 a.m. - Tugger registration at the Civic Club.
  • 10:30 a.m. - Kid's Tug registration at the North End.
  • 11 a.m. - Kid's Tug.
  • 11 a.m. - Vendors and Beverage Tent open.
  • Noon - Bingo opens.
  • 12:15 p.m. - National Anthem.
  • 12:30-3 p.m. - The Tug.
  • 4 p.m. - Live music from Hap Hazard.
  • 8 p.m. to midnight - Live music from Soul Storm.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.tugfest.com.

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