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Lumberjack show coming to Riverfest

August 3, 2018

Riverfest attendees will get a taste of the lumberjack life when the Timberworks Lumberjack Show comes to the annual Watertown festival next week. Timberworks will host 10 shows at the event: Thursday, Aug. 9, at 5 and 7:45 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11, at 2, 5 and 7:45 p.m. each day; and Sunday, Aug. 12, at 2:15 and 4:45 p.m.

Each show will feature two lumberjacks in competition with each other and an emcee, who will introduce the various sports being performed as well as describe the history behind the sports, which have their roots in the work of actual lumberjacks and logging camps in days gone by.

Sports that will be performed include speed sawing and carving, a relay race, axe throwing, speed climbing up poles, logrolling and chopping, which will feature methods similar to what historical lumberjacks used, including springboard chopping and chopping a log between one’s legs, called underhand chopping.

Manager Sue Hadley does note that these lumberjacks are professionally trained, coming out of collegiate circuits, competing professionally and/or being trained at the show’s headquarters in Hayward. She said they perform at 35-45 venues a year and shows have been performed nationally and internationally, as far off as Africa and Australia and as close by as Milwaukee.

“It’s something different and unique,” reflected Hadley, who noted the show weaves lumberjack action, history and comedy that can be a great draw for families.

She hopes that Riverfest audiences will enjoy seeing this sport performed live and appreciate the athleticism of the lumberjack performances.

“Maybe it’s something they’ve never seen before,” she said.

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