TUPPER LAKE - Recent rainstorms haven't washed out the annual Tupper Lake Woodsmen's Days, and this year, the event is getting back to its roots.
"Part of our mission statement is to educate the public about our industry," said Carrie Snye, Tupper Woodsmen's Association secretary, "and that has been our focus this year."
To that end, there will be an array of logging-related heavy equipment on display, including loaders, skidders and demonstrations of a whole-tree chipper.
Ben Merrihew, top, struggles to climb on top of his teammate in the greased pole event at the 2012 Tupper Lake Woodsmen’s Days.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
Wet conditions have forced a couple of changes to the lineup of activities, but most of the calendar will remain intact.
"The only things we are not able to do this year are the four-man team event and the skidding competition, because the fields are just too wet and it'll cause too much damage," Snye said. "We're basically trying to do everything in the infield, where it's dry, and stage all the heavy equipment displays off the fireman's strip, the paved area in the Municipal Park."
Two loader competitions will take the place of the skidding competition. There will be some new events this year, too.
Two new training courses will be taught by an instructor from the Berlin, N.H.-based Logger Rescue team. At 7:30 a.m. Saturday is a chainsaw safety awareness course, for anyone who wants to learn how to properly to use and maintain a chainsaw. At 8 a.m. Sunday is a CPR/first-aid training program. Participants who complete the training will receive a Red Cross certification card. Both courses count toward continuing education credits for Logger Certification for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. There is a fee to take each course, and registration begins 15 minutes before the start time.
Other new attractions include a water slide for kids and a bevy of first-time vendors who specialize in finished wood products.
The weekend begins 6:30 p.m. Friday with an open-to-the-public dinner and dance at the Knights of Columbus Hall on High Street. Music will be provided by the band Bittersweet.
On Saturday, things will pick up at 10 a.m. with the Woodsmen's Day parade, which begins on Park Street and ends at Municipal Park. The theme of this year's parade, "A Blast from the Past," will celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Tupper Lake Woodsmen's Association.
For Snye, it is a theme that hits home. Her mother made paper, and her father, husband and son are all loggers.
"We've got five new members of a nine-member board, and we're all connected to the industry in some fashion," Snye said. "We're all somehow related to the people who founded the Tupper Lake Woodsmen's Association 30 years ago."
Snye explained that she remembers watching her father work when she was younger.
"My dad was a logger in the '50s and '60s," Snye said. "As a kid, I grew up with him getting wood with a team of horses. Everything is so mechanized now; it's just unbelievable, the advances in machinery. I wish he was still alive, just to be able to see it."
After the parade, Woodsmen's Days will be in full swing, with logging-industry-themed competitions and demonstrations taking place throughout the day, including the chainsaw carving contest, loading operator contest, tug of war and greased pole climb.
For a full list of events, visit www.woodsmendays.com.
Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.