Tonawanda News —
In a roughly 10-second exchange of might, the City of Tonawanda took the annual Canal Fest tug-of-war title for the second year in a row over North Tonawanda on Monday.
Wearing light blue T-shirts the Tonawanda team seemed to have the edge in age, though not size, as the crew of 15 etched out a victory over their Lumber City opponents pulling a pink ribbon across a spray-painted white line in a grassy area along the Niagara River behind Tonawanda City Hall.
And while their was no moat or mud, as is often the case in such competitions, team Tonawanda had pride on the line and celebrated the victory with high-fives and hoots.
But, as tradition goes, there will be other consequences. North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt pushed Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi over the Renaissance Bridge Tuesday night in a wheelbarrow, setting the stage for another oft-comical event and another year of bragging rights.
The short contest was watched by more than 60 Twin Cities residents, many of whom became vocally involved with shouts of "pull, pull, pull" throughout.
"It's clear that the south side has won," said Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, who led the contest with a whistle and officially determined its victor.
Pilozzi, who stood off to the side as the contest ensued, was gracious as he thanked the NT participants while also trumpeting his own side.
"I'd like to congratulate our team for the win," he said.
Ortt tossed the moment up to fate, thanking his team made up largely of emergency workers and politicians.
"All I can say is ... see you next year," he said.
Prior to Tonawanda's two-year win streak North Tonawanda had won the tug three years in a row.
Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.