Two small towns, one in Iowa and another across the Mississippi River in Illinois, locked in a literal tug-of-war just 15 miles upriver from the metro Quad-Cities.

LeClaire, Iowa and Port Byron, Ill., will square off Saturday, Aug. 12, for the 31st Tug Fest — one of the region’s most unusual bi-state contests.

Since 1987, organizers have strung rope across the main channel of the Mississippi River for the annual afternoon of grueling competition. There will be more than 11, three-minute bouts, with opposing teams digging in their heels for control of the rope. The side with more wins earns bragging rights and the alabaster eagle trophy.

Check out these images from past tugs.