Monday August 19, 2019
News Sections

Time to Kick the Tires and Light the Fires for the 2019 Championship Tractor Pull

2018 6,350lb Modified 4×4 Truck Champion, War Wagon

Held each year in conjunction with the National Farm Machinery Show, the Championship Tractor Pull draws more than 75,000 fans to Freedom Hall as larger-than-life machines compete for bragging rights and a share of a sizable prize purse.

Organized in 1969, when 66 tractors competed across three classes, the pull has now grown into a premiere event that boasts dozens of drivers and machines in nearly a dozen classes including 2WD and 4×4 trucks, both gas and diesel powered, and tractors ranging from 7,500lb modified tractors to Super Stock Alcohol Tractors to the gargantuan 10,200lb Pro Stock Tractors.

Competitors vie to reach the furthest distance while dragging a weighted sled down the dirt track created in the former Louisville Cardinal’s home in Freedom Hall.

If seeing, hearing, and feeling the roar of the enormous machines from your seat is not enough, visitors are also encouraged to visit The Pit in Broadbent arena from 9am to 5pm Wednesday through Friday and from 9am to 11am on Saturday. In The Pit, visitors can check out the trucks and tractors up close and talk to the drivers and crew who make it all happen. Admission to The Pit is free.

While the exhibits, seminars, and marketplace of the National Farm Machinery Show and access to The Pit are all free, the Championship Tractor Pull is a ticketed event and parking for both events is subject to KEC parking fees of $10. Tickets are available online or at the gate and range from $10 to $45 for single-show tickets. Passes to all four performances range from $70 to $200, depending on seating level. For attendees who want to have a premium experience during the pulls, the venue offers The Club tickets, which include livestream of the event, food, private restrooms, and cash bar service.

An online PPV livestream of the event is also available world wide at starting at $40.

Event Accompanied by Championship Tractor Pull

The agricultural industry around the world, as most things have, has continued to evolve to incorporate the latest science and technology. The equipment and farming products on display this week in the Kentucky Exposition Center might be nearly unrecognizable to farmers from just a generation or two ago.

Whether you are in the agricultural business yourself, interested in seeing how the food that you consume is produced, or simply want to marvel at the engineering and technology on display, the National Farm Machinery Show has something for everyone.

The annual four-day event, which is free to attend, boasts more than 1.3 million square feet of indoor exhibit space occupied by nearly 900 agricultural displays. These exhibits showcase the latest products and services offered by everyone from large, well-established companies to smaller outfits who have created practical implements borne out of necessity based on hand-on experience in the field.

Education also plays a large part of the NFMS, including daily seminars to help agribiz workers identify industry trends, increase crop yields, and make use of the latest technology that is available.

In addition to the exhibits focused on the hardware that farmers need to ply their trade, the show also offers a large Gift & Craft Market. This marketplace, located in the South Wing Mezzanine, features more than 80 booths offering a wide array of gifts, souvenirs, toys, collectibles, and more.

While admission to the NFMS is free, parking at the Kentucky Exposition Center will cost $10 for cars and $20 for buses. The NFMS is open 9am to 6pm daily.

Held in conjunction with the National Farm Machinery Show, each night Freedom Hall will roar to life with the sounds of high-horsepower diesel tractors, alcohol tractors, and heavy duty 2- and 4-wheel drive modified trucks in the Championship Tractor Pull.

Although the Tractor Pulls are ticketed events, visitors are welcome to stop by The Pit in Broadbent Arena from 9am to 5pm through Friday and 9am to 11am on Saturday. There, they can check out the awesome pulling machines, meet with drivers, and get autographs.

It all began nearly a year ago when local non-profit, Shirley’s Way, kicked off their Queen of Hearts charity raffle game at a Valley Station restaurant last April.

If you have not heard of Shirley’s Way, you have probably at least seen their logos – alternating variations of purple handprints or the slogan “Cancer Sucks!” – plastered on vehicles and advertisements around town. According to their website, the organization’s mission is to be “an extension of the household income and help local families as they battle the financial side of cancer.”

Playing the game was as simple as purchasing a $2 raffle ticket. Winning it, it turns out, was not as easy as it sounded. Each Monday night at Khalil’s Restaurant in southern Jefferson County, one ticket was chosen at random from among all of those sold that week.

The lucky participant whose ticket was draw had the opportunity to chose from an ever-decreasing deck of cards affixed to a game board trying to locate the Queen of Hearts. No winner meant that all tickets for the week were thrown out to repeat the process for the following Monday.

As weeks turned into months without a correct guess, the pot – which is split between the winner and the charitable organization – grew to more than three-quarters of a million dollars.

The final tally was $773,800, of which Leslie Duncan – whose ticket was drawn earlier this week and who had successfully located the Queen of Hearts from the remaining cards – will take home $309,520.

After a two week hiatus, the charity plans to repeat the process with another round of the game.

Video: Shirley’s Way

Annual Event to be Accompanied by Truck and Tractor Pull Competition

The 2019 National Farm Machinery Show kicks off next at the Kentucky Expo Center, where the the tools of the agricultural trade will be showcased February 13 through 16.

The National Farm Machinery Show offers a vast selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment and services available to those in the farming trade. Farming professionals from around the world have the opportunity to access knowledge and hands-on experience from nearly 900 exhibitors during the four day show – the largest of its kind in the nation.

In addition to seeing the newest products on the market, visitors can attend free seminars led by industry experts.

The NFMS hours run from 9AM to 6PM daily at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Admission to the show, which includes access to seminars, is free, although visitors parking on-site must pay KEC parking fees.

Held in conjunction with the NFMS, fans seeking the excitement of raw horsepower won’t want to miss out on the 2019 Championship Tractor Pull.

Featuring more than a half-dozen classes of pullers ranging from Modified 4×4 Trucks to the ear-splitting Super Stock Alcohol Tractors, the event runs all four days of the National Farm Machinery Show, with victors being crowned at the Saturday night Finals.

Tickets for the Championship Tractor Pull are available at the gate or online, starting at $7. A pay-per-view livestream of the event will also be available.

68 days and counting to this year’s Thunder Over Louisville – the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies. The Festival announced the theme of this year’s show and named the event’s sponsors at their headquarters this morning. This year’s theme – “The Wonderful World of Thunder” – will celebrate 30 years of the show with a soundtrack of songs from everyone’s favorite fairytale and animated movies. Horseshoe Southern Indiana, LG&E, Meijer, and UPS return as Presenting Sponsors of the day-long event set for Saturday, April 13.

“The entire show is shaping up to be a magical 30th celebration,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “Thunder Over Louisville is a major undertaking and we’re able to continue producing the show year-after-year thanks to the continued support of our sponsors.”

This is the 29th consecutive year that UPS has been a presenting sponsor of Thunder Over Louisville. Horseshoe Southern Indiana has been a presenting sponsor for 20 consecutive years. LG&E and Meijer have both been Thunder sponsors for the past 13 years in a row.

In addition to the presenting sponsors, Ford Motor Company returns as title sponsor of Ford’s Thunder on the Ground and Papa John’s returns as title sponsor of Papa John’s Thunder Funder program. Logan Lavelle Hunt is the Official Sound Sponsor and The Galt House is the Official Hotel of the event. Thunder Over Louisville’s 2019 Official Broadcast Partners are WAVE 3 News and SummitMedia’s 106.9 PLAY.

The Festival is also planning for another packed air show in 2019. The show will feature the U.S. Army Golden Knights, the KC Flight Formation Team, the 6-ship Trojan Thunder Team, Younkin Airshows and many more. Additional details on the 2019 Thunder Air Show will be released closer to the show date.

With great sadness, the Louisville Zoo said goodbye to 22-year-old female lion Kariba on Wednesday, January 30.

Kariba had been on what the Zoo calls a quality-of-life watch due to her advanced age and declining health. The decision was made to humanely euthanize Kariba when she no longer responded to therapy.

“These decisions are never easy and are made after discussions between the veterinary staff and animal care staff,” said Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Zoli Gyimesi. “Kariba was geriatric and staff began to see a decline in her health in 2018. Examinations under anesthesia resulted in providing her with palliative care and close monitoring of her welfare.”

The median life expectancy of lions in a managed care system is 16.9 years. In the wild an adult female lion may live 10 – 15 years.

Kariba came to the Louisville Zoo in 2000 from the Wildlife Way Station in California. The Zoo currently has one 3-year-old male lion named Siyanda.

Zoo Logo

The Louisville Zoo invites students in preschool and grades pre-K – 12 to get involved with the seventh annual Trashformation: A Trash-to-Treasure Art Contest for Students. The annual contest is part of the Zoo’s Party for the Planet: A Month-Long Celebration of the Earth powered by the LG&E and KU Foundation. The event takes place in April.

Students are encouraged to communicate the importance of recycling and sustainability through art. Using only recyclable items, students’ art submissions should express or interpret “Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.”

Back by popular demand, the Zoo is partnering with the Louisville Orchestra’s MakingMUSIC Landfill Orchestra program and has a category encouraging students to create a playable musical instrument from recycled materials. Students submitting a musical instrument will be invited to participate in a jam session with their instruments led by Louisville Orchestra Music Director Teddy Abrams at the awards presentation press conference on March 23 at 11 a.m.

Trashformation is open to all public, private, parochial and homeschool students in preschool and grades K–12.

One winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced at a press conference during the Earth Month kickoff celebration at the Zoo on March 23. Winners will receive a one-of-a-kind painting by one of the Zoo’s animals.

Nonmusical instrument submissions must be no larger than 12”x12”x12” if three-dimensional and weigh no more than 8 pounds with a rigid base or can be 18” x 18” if flat. All entries must be made from recyclable materials. Registration is appreciated for the contest by Feb. 11. Each student or group may enter only one project.

Visit for registration material and a full list of rules and categories.

Continue reading