Wednesday February 20, 2019

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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 FarmShowPull.com 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.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

Councilman Brandon Coan (D-8) is encouraging property and business owners along Bardstown Road, Baxter Avenue and the Douglass Loop to attend the next public meeting for the proposed creation of the Highlands Management District on Tuesday, February 12th at HopCat,1064 Bardstown Road beginning at 1:00pm.

“Since the first public meeting in 2018, we have been working to contact each and every property owner in the proposed service area to educate them about our plan,” said Coan. “This meeting is part of a homestretch effort to secure the commitments we need to move forward.”

The Councilman is proposing the creation of the Highlands Management District, a nongovernmental safety and cleanliness workforce, along the Bardstown Road/Baxter Avenue business corridor.

Management districts are funded by special assessments against properties located within service area boundaries, and they are managed by a voting board comprised of district property owners. The proposed Highlands Management District special assessment is $0.1745 per $100 PVA.

Coan’s proposal is the result of months of studies, reports and recommendations by an exploratory committee comprised of property owners and other stakeholders in the corridor, in consultation with the Louisville Downtown Partnership.

For more information about the proposed Highlands Management District, contact Councilman Coan’s office at 574-1108 or visit www.tinyurl.com/BardstownRdBID for more information.

Historic Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark established c. 1792, is planning a year of programming centering on The Age of Hamilton, the period of time from c. 1770- 1805 that encompasses the American Revolution and the early years of American independence.

Keyed to the arrival in June 2019 of Hamilton: An American Musical, at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Locust Grove will look at the personalities and events of the era of the American Revolution through the Early National period in depth. Washington, Jefferson, Burr, and Hamilton all were part of the world of William Croghan and George Rogers Clark.

The story of Locust Grove finds its roots in the American Revolution, through the military service of Major William Croghan, who established and lived at Locust Grove from 1792-1822, and his brother-in-law, General George Rogers Clark, who founded Louisville in 1778 and led the Illinois Campaign that brought the western territories under the control of American forces at the same time George Washington commanded the Continental Army in the east. Croghan fought with the Continental Army and was a participant in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown. He wintered with Continental forces at Valley Forge and witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, the Marquis de Lafayette were all part of the world of both Croghan and Clark.

“The experiences of the people of the Revolutionary era presented in Hamilton are mirrored in the stories of the people of Locust Grove and early Louisville,” says Carol Ely, Executive Director of Locust Grove.  “It’s exciting to have the chance to explore the personalities and ideas of the era in fresh new ways.”

Locust Grove kicks off The Age of Hamilton this month with A Winter’s Ball, just in time for Valentine’s Day. This historical ball will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm, and will feature live music and period dancing. Co-sponsored by The Jane Austen Society of North America—Greater Louisville Region, guests will be asked to wear historical dress from their favorite time period as we capture the atmosphere of the ball where Alexander Hamilton met his bride, Eliza Schuyler in 1780. 

Guests should look for a trio of Punch with the President evenings in March, April and May focusing on the lives and libations of presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.  Led by visiting historians, including Dr. Matthew Costello of The White House Historical Association, Gwynne Tuell Potts, and historical interpreter Peyton Dixon, these evening programs find connections between the first three presidents, early American history, and Locust Grove, along with period drinks. Locust Grove’s Afternoon Lecture Series, held on the first Wednesday of each month, will focus on revolutionary topics such as African Americans in the Revolution and dueling in Early Kentucky. A subsequent program on June 6, Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History, presented by Dr. Richard Bell, will explore the historical origins of the blockbuster musical.

This season of programming at Locust Grove also engages the site’s educational mission, with a professional development opportunity for teachers on February 16, and a student competition where students will perform using historical documents as their inspiration. Thanks to the generosity of the Louisville Theatrical Association/PNC Broadway in Louisville, participants in these programs will have the opportunity to win tickets to see Hamilton when it arrives in Louisville. Members of the public will also have the chance to win tickets for the show.

Finally, Locust Grove’s Age of Hamilton will culminate with The Hamilton Festival on June 16, 2019.  This celebration of the Revolution will feature student performances of original pieces, a re-creation of the Hamilton-Burr Duel, a sing-a-long, and presentation on clothing of the period, Aaron Burr’s time in Louisville, and more.

According to Brian Cushing, Locust Grove’s program director, “The site has explored a lot of exciting directions over the years but the contributions to the United States of America by the Revolutionary War veterans connected with Locust Grove, especially George Rogers Clark, remains the cornerstone of our story.  Now that Hamilton is shining a spotlight on that era, we’re able to draw our visitors, into the core of our mission of the exploration of history.”

A full calendar of The Age of Hamilton events and more information can be found at www.locustgrove.org/revolution.

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

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) recently awarded a contract for rehabilitation of the Bernheim Bridge in Cherokee Park in Louisville. This bridge, also known as Bridge No. 8, crosses the Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek.

This project includes waterproofing and repairing the concrete arch, resetting the railings, masonry repairs on the spandrel walls and railings and new asphalt pavement on the crossing.

KYTC is coordinating the bridge repairs with Louisville Parks and Recreation and Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Construction is scheduled to begin this week. The bridge crossing via Beargrass Road from Park Boundary Road and Alta Vista Road will be inaccessible through the duration of the project. The Bernheim Bridge will reopen to traffic in late summer.

Several popular nearby park features, including Big Rock pavilion, parking and playground area, will be easily accessible during the construction period. A detour map can be viewed below.

Louisville Paving Company was awarded the $1.1 million construction contract. Marr Construction will be the subcontractor for the masonry rehabilitation of the historic bridge. Marr has worked on several other bridge restoration projects in Cherokee Park.

The Bernheim Bridge dates to 1928 and was named for Bernhard and Rosa Bernheim, who were members of the notable Bernheim family that includes Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, who founded the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest south of Louisville.

Another bridge in Cherokee Park on the Scenic Loop is scheduled for repairs later this year. These bridges are part of KYTC’s Bridging Kentucky program. Bridging Kentucky includes more than 1,000 state, county, and municipal structures that are rated in poor condition or have restricted weight limits. More than 70 of the bridges on the list are currently closed to traffic.

Each bridge will be addressed in the next six years, either replaced with a new structure designed to last at least 75 years or rehabilitated to extend its life by at least 30 years. Those with restricted weight limits will reopen to school buses, emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, as well as passenger vehicles.

The date and duration of this work may be adjusted if inclement weather or other unforeseen delays occur. Visit goky.ky.gov for the latest in traffic and travel information in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Traffic information for the District 5 counties is also available at facebook.com/KYTCDistrict5 and twitter.com/KYTCDistrict5.

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.

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