CHAPEL HILL -- The Lions Super Pull of the South provided, no doubt, a super weekend for thousands of people in the audience at Forrest High School's stadium, as well as rousing competition for the pullers.
"It was better than ever," says Chris Gilbert, chairman of the Lions Super Pull of the South - readily acknowledged as the biggest single sporting event in Marshall County. However, "It wasn't necessarily bigger" than ever.
Without documents to back up his insight on the crowd size, Gilbert said, "Our attendance was down a little bit.
"I don't have figures yet, but I'd say we were at about 16,000 to 17,000" people attending with paid tickets, the event chairman said Tuesday morning.
The crowd estimate was up to 18,000 in July 2009, but as always, some of those people were the same who were attending both nights. The figures are from ticket counting, but that's not including pullers and workers and family.
"Just actual ticket sales at the gate," Gilbert said, acknowledging that there probably weren't that many people, although each night probably saw far more than 8,000 people.
Still, the program included some heretofore-unseen tractors pulling great weights.
That included the Lambada Pulling Team with Willem, Gert and Wim Dingerink from Zwolle, the Netherlands.
"The Dutch did well Friday night and they won two seconds on Saturday," Gilbert said.
A complete listing of results from the annual event is at the National Tractor Pullers Association Web site, www.ntpapull.com, where an Internet surfer may find results from the Lions' event by using the site's search function.
As for particulars on the two-day event's happenings, Gilbert said, "Our committee will get together on what we did ... and what we need to do for next year... but it will be a couple of weeks before we can do that. We try to give everybody time to recuperate."
He did, again, stress appreciation "for all the folks who turn out to help us put this on, whether it's the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, the Chapel Hill Police Department, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the county's ambulance service, state park rangers, volunteers from the schools, their athletic teams.
"It couldn't happen without all of them," Gilbert said. "The candidates and everybody were out helping us.
"Just mark your calendars for July 22-23 next year when we do it again," Gilbert said.