Monday, October 2, 2017

20th annual Forest Sports Festival set for Oct. 7

Competitors struggle to keep their balance during the 2016  birling
competition at Ballaine Lake as Mingchu Zhang looks on.

Aspiring lumberjacks and adventurous spirits may test their skills Saturday, Oct. 7,  during the 20th annual Farthest North Forest Sports Festival at UAF.

Jason Buist, left, and Pete Buist try to rev up their fire during
the 2016 fire-building competition. The longtime contenders
compete part of the "Old Growth" team.

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,  just a sense of humor. 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 resources management programs at UAF and have fun. For more information, contact David Valentine at or 907-474-7614.

No comments: