Fair, Lumberjack Fest in full swing

July 26, 2019

Topsey Turvey riders fly upside down seeking thrills. Photo by Steve Landon

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent


There’s still time to enjoy the last days of the Clare County Fair and still swing over to Farwell for the Lumberjack Festival there.

These events are the highlight of Clare County’s summer and guaranteed to put a spring in your step and a smile on your face with a trip to each.
At the fair in Harrison, enjoy a great midway with loads of thrilling rides, great food, champion animals and displays to see and games for all ages. Merchant buildings and 4-H displays will spotlight the best of the best in Clare County.

It’s late but you might even be lucky enough to grab tickets for tonight to see the Country Music Hall of Fame Oak Ridge Boys in concert. (startickets.com)

There’s still time to catch the free midway shows by Brunon Blaszak’s Bengal Tigers and Nerveless Nocks Globe of Death and even visit with Gizmo the Robot, who will be on hand wandering around the midway to have fun with fairgoers.

The fair winds down on Saturday, and that’s when the old-fashioned fun begins at the Farwell Village Park where the 19th annual Lumberjack Festival will be in full swing! Start with a spaghetti dinner at the Surrey Township Fire Department tonight, then catch some of the fun old time festivities like log rolling, chainsaw carving, greased pig contests, a horseshoe competition, carving demonstrations and even Lumberjack Shows both Saturday and Sunday. On the more modern side, there’s a huge Craft Show and even a 5K Run & Half Marathon Saturday morning.

This festival is a bit different from others. Some of the events were staples when the area was home to real lumberjacks and their families, like a Pie Eating Competition, Horseshoe Competition, a Skillet toss, Chicken Chuckin’, and more. Kids will have their own special events: a hilarious slippery time at the Greased Pig Contests, Barrel Train Rides, Pony Rides, Carnival Games, Sawdust Treasure Hunts and even a Bubblegum Blowing Contest.

The history of Farwell is also on display at the Farwell Historical Museum just west of the Village Park where you can see some of the Village’s unique lumbering era history on display. The museum is open both Saturday and Sunday; from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The museum is so unique, it was featured in Michigan’s July/August issue of Michigan History.

The article, titled “Manny On The Move,” says, “Whether this is your first stop on your M-115 journey or the last, make sure to leave time to visit this gem. Built for the Farwell Ladies Library Association, the structure that now houses the Farwell Area Historical Museum which was constructed in the early 1880s. The museum shares the building with the Farwell Area Chamber of Commerce and offers information about the development and history of the Village.”

Most Lumberjack Festival events are scheduled for both tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday so head over for some real old-fashioned fun!

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