Tug Fest is a great local event that takes place annually across the Mississippi River between the cities of LeClaire, Iowa and Port Byron, Illinois.

The event is a thrilling tug-of-war competition between the two cities, and it has been a highlight of the summer season for locals and visitors alike since 1987.

Up until today we wondered if we would see it happen at all ever again.


Monica Austin
Monica Austin

Tug Fest Has Been Heated Recently

The festival has been mired in controversy recently due to an ongoing dispute between LeClaire and Port Byron over how to run the event. LeClaire Tug Fest representatives have argued that Port Byron has an unfair advantage due to the river's current and have recommended switching sides for some of the tugging events.

Meanwhile, Port Byron representatives have stood by their decision to keep the festival as is.


Monica Austin
Monica Austin

The Show Must Go On

Despite the disagreement, Tug Fest 2023 is confirmed to be taking place, much to the delight of fans of the event. Both cities have planned their events in case they can't come to an agreement on the tug itself.


"Current" Update on Tug Fest 2023

The even better news is that this year's Tug Fest will feature an exciting new update that will add to the competitive nature of the event.

For the first time ever, a barge will be placed in the river that will hold the rope up out of the current and prevent it from moving.

This move is designed to put to rest the question of whether the current plays a part in determining the winner and promises to make this year's event even more exciting and competitive than ever before.

When is Tug Fest 2023

Tug Fest is August 10-12, 2023 in Port Byron, Illinois and LeClaire, Iowa.

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