Lumberjack Festevent set for May 6

Published 5:37 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

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The sights, sounds and skills of the forestry industry during the 19th century will come alive in downtown Franklin on Saturday, May 6, for the Lumberjack Festevent, which is sponsored by nonprofit The Franklin Experience.

A TFE news release noted that the event, which will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., promises fun and excitement for the entire family, featuring the following:


This is old-fashioned fun and family entertainment, as lumberjacks demonstrate log rolling, underhand chopping, standing block chopping and ax throwing, to name a few events. This show was a notable crowd pleaser last year.  


A new event this year will be the professional lumberjack competition. The Virginia Lumberjack Championship, with champion lumberjack Scooter Cogar, will be running this competition. 

Professional lumberjacks will go head-to-head using razor-sharp axes and high-powered chainsaws in six thrilling disciplines.  

At this level it is a very competitive sport, with good technique being a critical component to winning. This extreme sport may include the underhand chop, stock saw, standing block chop, single buck, springboard chop and hot saw. Every discipline is meant to demonstrate how lumberjacks worked in the woods a century ago.  


TFE officials said they are thrilled to welcome Corey Lancaster, a chainsaw carver from Princeton, North Carolina, to the event Saturday, May 6. This craftsman takes a log and turns into a bear, a squirrel, a sloth, an eagle or whatever his imagination can generate. Everyone can watch as a shape begins to form with each cut of his chainsaw. These unique creations, as well as others Lancaster will bring, will be available for purchase at the show. 


Returning with their ax-throwing trailer is Tomahawk Toss. The coaches, all World Axe Throwing League (WATL) qualified, will be available to teach novices the skill of safely throwing an ax. How many bullseyes can you hit? This is a pay to play/throw activity. Everyone must sign a waiver, and those younger than 18 must have an adult with them. This is a must-do activity at the Lumberjack Festevent.

There are a multitude of other activities on tap for the Lumberjack Festevent this year. 


There will be a tent featuring old pictures of loggers and logging, along with some old logging equipment. 

Several people will be on-site to talk about the history of Franklin and the surrounding area and the impact the lumber industry had on the development of this region: 

  • CHT Forestry Harrell Turner will be on hand with “Goods From the Woods” information about products that are derived from timber (i.e., make up, gum, etc.);
  • Extension Agent Neil Clark will share how forests shape the life and economy for us all;
  • Agriculture & Forestry Museum members will be showing the old pulley system logging saw, as well as a variety of other saws used to cut timber; 
  • The Department of Forestry will share how it maintains and improves the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands; and
  • Enviva will have information on the advantages of wood pellets, a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels.


The day will also feature many artisans displaying their skills, all involving wood in some shape, form or fashion. They will include the following:

  • Tidewater Turners, a club made up of more than 100 hobbyist and professional woodturners, will demonstrate their art of wood turning. Members will display a variety of turned objects including bowls, platters, pens, vases and Christmas ornaments, all turned in local and exotic woods. Turners will conduct public demonstrations and answer questions. All objects will be available for sale;
  • The Mariners’ Museum will be showing off handmade longleaf pine needle baskets, as well as the longleaf pine needle gourds;
  • From Food to Wood — Stephanie Babb Ayala, a local artisan/woodworking hobbyist, has found a passion with her woodworking skills. It shows in the products she constructs — end tables, benches, bed headboards, plant stands, cutting boards, bookends, pencil caddies, coasters and more;
  • Decoys By DLJ has beautifully carved ducks and shore birds for sale;
  • Walking Sticks — another local artisan, Ames Herbert, creates handmade wooden walking sticks and leather hand bags;
  • Benson Alpaca Meadows — the Bensons bring alpacas with the products made from alpaca hair;
  • Houses by Tom — Tom brings handmade bird houses in his handmade birdhouse trailer;
  • Wild Lilly’s — wood edge slabs, an Alaskan sawmill and wood artisan pieces highlight this artisan’s booth;
  • Hammered by Jen is a talented vendor making unique handmade string art;
  • Lisa’s Beading & Jewelry — Lisa provides a wide variety of jewelry;
  • Ag Museum demonstrators — several different people will be on-site demonstrating how some or all of the following were made:

-Primitive weapons & blowguns for kids;

-Flintknapping, pottery;

-Wood turned bowls, makes bows (as in bows and arrows);

-Blacksmith and broom making; and



If all these activities make attendees hungry, food vendors at the festevent will include the following:

  • Cakes and Concessions — hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, nachos, chicken tenders and pasta, chicken, garden and bunless burger salads; 
  • Cast Iron Catering Co. — pork or chicken barbecue, mac and cheese, cole slaw and more;
  • Bakery Bus — sweets of all kinds, including pies, breads, official lumberjack cookies
  • C-MO Snax — ice cream, fried Oreos, smoothies, funnel cake, slushies

Of course, there are a number of local restaurants that will welcome visitors as well.

The Franklin Department of Parks and Recreation will be on hand with youth activities, including face painting, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

There will be no cornhole tournament at this event this year, but TFE will have on hand a 12 foot-by-24 foot cornhole board, built by Countryside Exteriors. Take a different approach to cornhole, taking a stab at the slingshot, launching a bean bag as part of this unique cornhole experience. 


Saturday’s activities are preceded by a free Friday night, May 5, concert at Barrett’s Landing. The Blackwater Band will be on stage from 6:30-10 p.m. with its top 40s, blues, funk and country music. There will be cold beverages and a food vendor. Attendees are asked to bring their own chairs.

Lumberjack Festevent sponsors include the city of Franklin, Walters Outdoor Power Equipment, Meherrin, M&M Milling, Enviva, Bronco Federal Credit Union, Sheet Metal Products, Burgess & Co., and Franklin Lumber.