Forest festival set for Oct. 7 at UAF

Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or later
Location: Fairbanks Experiment Farm fields (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), Ballaine Lake (1-3 p.m.)
<i>Photo by Debbie Carter</i><br>Competitors in the 2016 Forest Fest try out the double buck saw event.
Photo by Debbie Carter
Competitors in the 2016 Forest Fest try out the double buck saw event.

Aspiring lumberjacks and adventurous spirits will test their skills Oct. 7 during the 20th annual Farthest North Forest Sports Festival at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Students and community members 18 and older are invited to try their hand at old-time forest sports such as ax throwing, log rolling, bow saw and crosscut sawing, campfire building, and birling, which involves staying upright on a floating log. No previous experience is necessary. People may compete as individuals or as teams of four to six. At the end of the day, awards will go to the top team and to the top individual contenders — the belle and bull of the woods.

The competition begins at 10 a.m. at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm fields, across from the Georgeson Botanical Garden. At 1 p.m., the games move to Ballaine Lake. A warming fire and hot drinks will be available at the lake. Participants are advised to dress warmly. If competing in the birling, a towel and change of clothes are recommended.

The free event is hosted by the School of Natural Resources and Extension and the student Resource Management Society. The competition was developed in 1998 as a way to commemorate old-fashioned logging sports, raise awareness of the natural resource management programs at UAF and have fun. For more information, contact David Valentine at dvalentine@alaska.edu or 907-474-7614.