The annual 'International Pull for Peace' tug of war between residents of Fort Frances and International Falls, Minnesota, is cancelled.

Record high water levels are sinking the seven year tradition in Fort Frances.

It usually happens July 2nd, with a 1,500 foot rope strung across the Rainy River.

International Pull for Peace

A photo from the International Pull for Peace, 2013, shows residents of Fort Frances, Ontario and International Falls, Minnesota against each other in a friendly tug-of-war. (Facebook/Pull for Peace)

But at a Fort Frances city council meeting this week, the fire chief recommended that the tug be cancelled due to high water and  the strong current on the river. 

"Safety was obviously the main concern, said Rick Wiedenhoeft, a Fort Frances city councillor. 

"If someone got pulled into that river and the current washed them away, I mean, we don't wear life jackets when we do the tug, so it would be a dangerous situation."

Wiedenhoeft said it's not the first time the tug has been cancelled. A few years ago, a sudden thunderstorm scuttled the event. 

He said people will have to look forward to next year to flex their muscles in the friendly competition, where the winner takes home bragging rights and the trophy for the year.

"It's brought the communities closer together," Wiedenhoeft said.

The tug of war is part of a four-day festival with events in both Fort Frances and International Falls.

Some of the events will still go ahead despite the flooding and, in the place of the tug of war, there are plans for an "international peace party" in International Falls.