by Savana Morie
The sun shined bright on Pensacola State College’s Milton campus last Saturday, March 1, making it a seemingly perfect day for people of all ages to come enjoy the 26th annual Northwest Florida Forestry Conclave and Lumberjack Festival, with events running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry was free and open to the public.
Face painting, crafts and games were available for younger children to enjoy. Educational booths with topics ranging from falconry to gardening invited individuals to learn something new during their visit. The adult events, such as the Log Roll, Axe Throw and Cross-Cut competitions, generated lots of excitement amongst spectators, testing the strength and endurance of those worthy enough to be named this year’s “Lumberjacks of 2014.”
“These events originally started because this is a big logging area,” Anthea Amos, dean of PSC’s Milton campus, said about the origin of the festival. “[During] off times, loggers would want something to do.”
The physical competitions became a fun way of trying to better the loggers’ skills.
Another popular feature of the festival was the work of artist Andy Cummings, who carves wooden sculptures out of logs with a chainsaw. It was his ninth year back at the festival and when asked what his favorite part was, he insisted it was the people around him.
“I’ve watched kids grow up here and compete,” Cummings said. “It’s the family atmosphere, and I love carving.”
According to Amos, the festival will be back for many more years to come and has been a success every year.
For more information on next year’s festival call 850-484-4463 or go online at http://lumberjack.pensacolastate.edu.