By Pat Maurer
The 14th annual Farwell Lumberjack Festival begins at 5 p.m. next Friday evening with a spaghetti supper at the Surrey Township Fire Hall.
The festival continues Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27 with all types of fun for the entire family including a Lumberjack Show with log rolling, a craft show, Charity Softball Game, Kids Carnival Games, and entertainment both days.
For a step back in time, there are old fashioned contests, some once an important part of the lumbering era in Michigan, which are a big part of the festival each year. Some unique events include Chainsaw Carving, Chicken Chuckin’, a Chili Cook-Off, Horseshoes, Pie Eating and even a Skillet Toss.
Youngsters of all ages will enjoy the fun, with a Kids Pedal Pull, Bubble Gum Blowing, and even Musical Chairs and the traditional Greased Pig contests all for kids from 3 to 16 years old.
If a walk through the Village’s past is your thing, the Farwell Museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The festival, organized by the Farwell Area Chamber of Commerce, also features games, musical entertainment, hay rides, and concession stand with loads of food.
There is a 5K Lumberjack Run, a Lumberjack Raffle, Button Drawings and even a Silent Auction.
There will be loads to see and do at the festival. A Craft Show Opens in the Village Park at 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Entertainment at the festival will include the “Red Hat Strutters” in the pavilion at 11 a.m. Saturday; Steven D and the Keys at 1 p.m.; the “Harper Family at 3 p.m.
On Sunday Party Time Entertainment begins at 10 a.m.
Lumberjack Shows featuring log rolling and many other lumbering era feats will be presented on Saturday at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. On Sunday the Lumberjack Shows are scheduled at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
On Saturday, the 5K Run/Walk begins at the Little League Field with registration from 8 to 8:45 a.m. and the run beginning at 9 a.m.
For the little ones, Pixie’s Pony Rides are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Barrel Train Rides on the MMCC train will be ongoing from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.
Old fashioned Hay Rides are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Kids Carnival Games are set for 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Kid’s game tickets are available at 3 for $1 on Saturday from 9-11a.m. and 1-5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Farwell’s Lumberjack Festival features some unique and unusual competitions.
The Chainsaw Carving Competition will be held in the park on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by the Stock Chainsaw Cutting Contest at 1:30 p.m. and the Quick Carve Contest at 3:30 p.m.
More Chainsaw Carving Competition is scheduled Sunday with a Stock Chainsaw Cutting Contest from 10 a.m. to noon, and another Quick Carve Competition from 1 to 2 p.m. The Carvers Auction begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Ten a.m. Saturday marks the beginning of the Horseshoe Tournament with the Singles Open Division. The Doubles Open Division begins on Sunday at 10 a.m. The 7th annual Lumberjack Horseshoe Tournament begins at noon Sunday with registration at 11 a.m.
The first of two Greased Pig contests will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday for youngsters from 3 to 16 years old. The second, for the same age group is scheduled on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Other contests for the kids include the Bubblegum Blowing Contest Saturday at 2:30 p.m.; the Sawdust Treasure Hunt at 3:30 p.m. Saturday; the Kids Pedal Pull Contest in the Wyman Parking Lot Sunday at 1 p.m. and at 10 a.m. Sunday, a Limbo Contest for all ages in the event arena.
If you come hungry, you can participate in the Pie Eating Contest Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Pavilion.
For a really “hot” time, don’t miss the annual Chili Cook-Off. Registration is from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sunday and the Chili Cook-Off is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Judging (and tasting) set for 2 p.m.
Ladies, how far can you throw a rubber chicken? Find out at the Chicken Chuckin’ Contest on Saturday at 4 p.m. If you would rather pitch something a bit heavier, the Skillet Toss for men and women begins Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Both contests are in the event arena.
For a different type of pitching, you won’t want to miss the Charity Softball Game at the Little League Field on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
There are entry fees for the Kids Pedal Pull, Greased Pig Contest, Stock Chainsaw Contest, Chicken Chuckin’, Skillet Toss, the Chili Cook-Off, Pie Eating and the Horseshoe Tournament.
The drawing for the Lumberjack Raffle is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, followed by the last Lumberjack Show at 4 p.m.
At 5 p.m. the Lumberjack Festival winds up another year of old-fashioned fun.
Sponsors for this year’s Lumberjack Festival include Isabella Bank of Farwell, Chemical Bank, Crooked Lake Resort, Elm Creek, GLD Management, MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare, Reiss Real Estate, Soaring Eagle Waterpark, Taylor Insurance, Capital Equipment, Conlay’s Power Washing, Deb & Jesse’s, the Farwell Labor Day Committee, K’s Diner, Kyle Mfg., Law Office of Dwight Carpenter, Stephenson-Wyman, Threadsplash, WUPS 98.5, Campbell Stocking Funeral Home, Carrow’s, Cops a& Doughnuts, County Wide Septic, Country Care Assisted Living, Fairchild & Green Realty, Family Farm & Home, Farwell Family Dentistry, Farwell Trading Post, Brock Horsley D.O., Hungry Howie’s Pizza, McGuire Chevrolet, Ray’s Bike Shop, Superior Title, Sod-Busters, Ace Hardware of Clare, Russell Family Farms and Webber Bros Sawmill.