STRASBURG — Sunday was Holly Olson's second time competing in the Strasburg Lions Club Homecoming Strongman Competition.
The St. Louis native said it's small town events like Straburg's competition that she looks forward to the most.
"I started Strongman probably two years ago, and it's just a fun sport with a great community," Olson said. "I just look for local events like this one to participate in."
During Sunday's event, Olson and dozens of other competitors tested their strength by pulling a pickup truck specially equipped with fire equipment from the Strasburg Fire Protection District, an overhead log press, a farmer's carry and a deadlift. An overhead log press involves lifting a log-shaped weight over one's head while a farmer's carry is when contestants hold barbells in each hand and walk a specified distance.
In the firetruck pull, Olson dragged the truck an even 25 feet. Olson said she doesn't view the other competitors as opponents, rather, she views them as friends.
"I think my favorite part is just the community. Even though you're competing with the other athletes, they're really supportive and they're always there cheering you to make sure that you're there to do your best," Olson said.
The three-day homecoming event wasn't just for the Strongman community. Organizer and Lions Club President Charlie Dohring said the festivities had something for everyone to enjoy.
"It's somewhere to go and somewhere to eat," Dohring said. "It's probably the largest (Lions Club) fundraiser during the year."
The homecoming events opened Friday night with a ribeye steak and pulled pork dinner, a parade and entertainment by the Mary Bryant Singers. On Saturday, festivity goers enjoyed a tractor pull, pedal tractor pull and kids games.
Sunday wrapped up the event with the strongman competition and the garden tractor pull.
Dohring said this is his third year at the helm of the Lions Club and therefore his third year in charge of the homecoming. Dohring said what he looks forward to the most in his years organizing the festivities is the experience of doing so and interacting with the community.
A 44-year member of the Lions Club, Dohring, a Strasburg native and current Stewardson resident, encourages others to donate to the club through attending events like the homecoming. Dohring said the club puts on fundraisers year round like a chicken dinner and a sausage and pancake breakfast.
To keep the homecoming and the Lions Club going, Dohring said he would like to see more people join the service organization.
"We need help. Join the Lions Club. We need some younger guys in there now," Dohring said.
Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-347-7151 ext. 132.