By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’ve been talking a lot lately about our Pulling Together event — it’s an epic tug of war across the Mississippi River. So how did it come about?

The WCCO Newsroom is a place filled with producers, photographers and reporters. But if you go upstairs, there are many of hardworking people you don’t see on TV. Casey Kespohl is one of them — he oversees community outreach for WCCO.

The Pulling Together event was his idea. It came from a tug of war near where he grew up on the Illinois-Iowa border.

“For me growing up there, it was a real sense of pride,” he said.

We all know the Twin Cities have their differences, so why not iron them out over the mighty Mississippi?

“We wanted to stay pure to the Minneapolis-St. Paul concept,” Kespohl said. “It was literally a Minneapolis property pulling against a St. Paul Property. This is the spot that exemplifies that greatly.”

The spot he chose is in Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul. Things there seem peaceful, but they’re about to get crazy.

Think fun, think festival! There will be food trucks, craft beer, live music and tons of places for the kids to play.

“It’s party, let’s just call it what it is,” Kespohl said.

A party with a purpose — money raised by each tug-of-war team goes to support Fraser, a resource center for families dealing with autism.

That’s about the only thing that will unite the teams. There will be 10 matches total, with each team pulling from opposing barges.

“Let’s go big!” Kespohl said.

Parking, pull times and more details about how to donate are all available here.


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