Lumbermen and pro logging competitors from around the country are interested in the return of the Payson Sawdust Festival. But there will be plenty of opportunities for amateurs to take a shot at the prize money as well.
Planned for May 23 and May 24 at the Payson Event Center, all the equipment — including safety gear — will be provided.
Organizers Bill Neal and Cameron Davis shared some of the events that amateurs might enjoy.
• The log toss — participants get three tries at tossing a 10-foot long log, between 5 and 7 inches in diameter. The win goes to the individual who tosses the log the greatest distance.
• The log roll — participants use only a cant hook to move a log 20 feet and place it between two posts 16 feet apart, with both ends touching a post, neither feet nor hands can touch the log.
• The ax throw — toss an ax at a target (30 feet for men, 20 feet for women); score is cumulative after three throws, with the win going to the person with the highest score.
• The rolling pin throw — score is based on distance and accuracy; participants get three tries.
• Greased pole climbing — an 18-foot pole, greased with lard, must be climbed using a three-person team. The win is based on speed.
• Cigar smoking firefighting —participants are given a 5-gallon bladder of water with a pull nozzle and a lighted cigar, then stationed in a 20-foot ring. The object is to put out everyone else’s cigar, while keeping yours lit. The winner is the last standing with a lit cigar.
Children will also have the opportunity to get in the arena for some fun.
Among the contests planned for youngsters are nail driving (a speed event), pine cone throw (a distance event), a log toss for boys and a rolling pin throw for girls; and log stacking.
There will also be a chance for different age groups to scramble through a sawdust pile in search of up to $100 in silver coins.
The events for the children will be in a special area in the arena with good views from the stands for friends and family.
To register to participate, those interested can go to the Web site paysonrimcountry.com and click on the Sawdust Festival site and print both the registration form and the insurance waiver and take it to the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce office at the corner of West Main and Beeline or the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism office in Green Valley Park.
It is recommended entrants also attend one of two meetings held prior to the opening of the Sawdust Festival, one will be Friday evening, May 22, the other will be early Saturday morning, May 23, both will be held at the Payson Event Center.