Officials in Stateline made it clear today that last year’s tractor pull mishap, which took the life of little Jimmy Sanders who died when a cartwheeling engine block hit the four-year old in the face, will not deter Summerfest organizers from offering the attraction this year.
“We all share the Sanders’ grief,” said Vance Kellogg, spokesperson for the Summerfest Committee. “But we cannot let sentiment bind our hands while our values are stolen by neighboring counties.” He continued: “This summer, for the second year in a row, Jefferson County will offer its own version of our tractor pull… an event we in Down County created!”
He stepped back from the podium to allow a forty foot banner of Jimmy Sanders to unfurl from the ceiling. “That’s why this year we’re dedicating the Summerfest tractor pull event to the memory of little Jimmy Sanders.” He motioned backstage for Jimmy’s parents while two cheerleaders from Flubug High joined him onstage with a thirty foot check. “It’s also why we on the Summerfest Committee decided unanimously to donate this $5,000 check to the (hastily-conceived) Jimmy Sanders Foundation For The Advancement of Jack and Beatrice Sanders.”
The couple, obviously moved, smiled through their tears, embraced Kellogg and stepped to the podium. Jack Sanders spoke for his wife: “Words cannot express the pain of losing a child.”
The audience went silent.
“But Little Jimmy has spoken to us all today through the generosity of the Summerfest Committee. He has told us to ‘hold our head high’ to ‘hold true to our values’ and most of all ‘keep the tractor pull going!'”
With that, the crowd leapt to its feet and offered the couple a deafening ovation as they disappeared off stage.
The tractor pull has been the top-grossing event at Summerfest since its inception in 1963. In that time there have been less than thirty fatalities, making it one of the safer events at the fair.