Tug-o-war trucks coming to Posse Arena in North Fort Myers
By CHUCK BALLARO
The Lee County Posse Arena isn’t just the home of barrel racers and team ropers. It’s also the home of good ol’ truckin’ fun.
On Saturday, perhaps the most popular event next to rodeo returns to the arena when Florida Tugs comes for a night of tug-of-wars between trucks.
Bumpers will be put to the test when these machines battle on the soft, sandy posse grounds in front of enthusiasts who will see competitors compete for $3,000 in prize money.
Keith Gogolin, owner of Florida Tugs, said the event has been a Lee County favorite for about 20 years, and is meant to be an evening of family fun.
“We do a few of these a year here at the arena. It’s a good truck pull tug-o-war,” Gogolin said.
Gogolin said the sport suffered a slump in the last decade as the economy went south and people didn’t have the money to fix up their tuggers. Now, with a better economy, he hopes more people get involved.
“It’s not as popular as it was 10 years ago. But we’re trying to build things up again and people are starting to get back into it,” Gogolin said.
Gogolin said his event puts a premium on the safety of the drivers and makes sure the event runs in a reasonable time.
“We don’t want to keep the fans out all night. We try to make it a three-hour event. They enjoy it,” Gogolin said.
Trucks that are 7,000 pounds must use a 41-inch hitch, while those 9,000 pounds will use a 51-inch hitch. Racing tires are not allowed, only those that are approved for the road. There is a $20 entry fee.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the action begins at 7. Tickets are $10 for adults, with children 10 and under free.
Gogolin said last year’s May event drew more than 1,500 people and expects at least as many this time, provided the weather holds up. Gogolin said he is planning another tug event for early April.
The Posse Arena is at 17401 Palm Creek Drive in North Fort Myers.
For more information, call Gogolin at 340-4020 or check out Florida Tugs on Facebook.