Thursday, September 27, 2018

Farthest North Forest Fest set for Oct. 6 at UAF

A competitor at the 2017 Forest Fest works a bow saw.

Who will be the next Bull of the Woods and Belle of the Woods?

Come to the 21st annual Farthest North Sports Festival on Oct. 6 and find out, or better yet, compete.

Students and community members 18 and older are invited to try their hand at old-time logging sports, such as ax throwing, log rolling, bow saw and crosscut sawing, fire building and birling. Birling involves staying upright longer than your competitor on a floating log in the lake.

Balancing on the plastic birling "log" is a challenge.
The event at UAF is free and beginners are welcomed. People may compete as individuals, but are encouraged to form teams of four to six. At the end of the day, awards will be given to individuals, teams and the top male and female competitors. Observers are welcomed, but pets must be kept on a leash.

Students and faculty with the School of Natural Resources and Extension developed the competition as a way to commemorate old-time logging festivals — and to have a good time.

The Forest Fest 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. Refreshments will be available and donations are welcome.  A warming fire and some grilled food will be available at the lake.

Participants are advised to dress warmly and to bring a change of clothes if they want to try birling. For more information, contact Dave Valentine at or 907-474-7614.

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