The tunes from the midway jingle, the laughs of the children enjoying themselves echo and the engines on the dirt track roar. But there may not be another sound more synonymous with the evening festivities at Madison County Fair than the distinctive voice of grandstand public address announcer Denver Geitgey.
The marquee event of the night Wednesday, July 9, was the National Tractor Puller’s Association Region II Championship Tractor Pull and the voice of the fair was again on the mic.
Geitgey, a resident of Grand Rapids, Ohio which is roughly 15 miles West of Bowling Green, speaks with a warm Southern draw and is every bit informative as he is entertaining during his four hours of the tractor pull.
“You have to be entertaining and have a knowledge of the pullers,” Geitgey said. “But you have to be personal with the people too because they want to be a part of what we do. We can’t get up and close and personal with them because of the distance and safety factor, but its my job to bridge the gap bewteen the puller and the spectators. They all want to be a part of the action.”
A few minutes of listening to his voice and you can instantly tell he enjoys what he’s doing. That may be why its not unusual for him to trek across the state of Ohio or even to other states to call a truck or tractor pull.
“It’s a lot of fun, it’s nothing to drive two or three hours to go to a pull for four, five, six hours,” Geitgey said. “We’ve been to North Carolina and West Virgina and all across Ohio this summer and will be in Texas in October.”
It’s one thing to have the vocal ability to speak in a way that’s entertaining, but being able to educate the crowd on what exactly they’re watching and what’s happening on the track takes skill. Whether it’s telling a story about a competitor or dropping critical knowledge of why something is happening, Geitgey is in his comfort zone. The professional announcer, as it says on his business card, is constantly honing his craft.
“I started doing this at the local county fair in the show arena,” Geitgey said. “They asked me to do the local fair pull about 10 years ago and it just kind of went from there. I was in the auction business and kind of got into this. It’s been a great, great adventure.”
He sees tons of races and different trucks and tractors, but don’t ask him what vehicles and classes he likes the best.
“I don’t have a favorite class, I like them all,” he said. “What I like about the tractor pull though in general is the camraderie. The people, the places you go and the fairgoers treat us like kings and queens. It’s just an amazing thing. Actually when we’re off and not working, we feel like we have to go to a truck or tractor pull.”
Mount Sterling resident Dru Gilliland competed in the Light Pro Stock Class Wednesday and registered a pull of 317.697 feet. He was driving his tractor named ‘Load The Wagon.’
You have to learn how to get these guys down the track, but you’ve got to listen to what else is going on around you.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.