June 08--CLINTON -- Families from both the Clinton area and out-of-town turned out Saturday to play games, eat festival food and watch lumberjacks and lumberjills from around the world compete.
While always hoping for even larger turnouts, Clinton Sawmill Museum Director Matt Parbs was excited to see approximately 1,500 people attend the fourth annual Lumberjack Festival, held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"It's been just what we were hoping; very busy down there," Parbs said.
The area designated for the lumberjack competition was surrounded by a large group of spectators, watching wood fly through the air as individuals from Iowa, Virginia, Colorado, Australia and other locations participated in a variety of events. Paige Knoblauch and her daughter, Olivia Yates, 6, sat on the grass watching the events for the first time. Yates especially enjoyed the men's underhand chop, where lumberjacks cut a log of wood they are standing on.
"We're having a great time," Knoblauch said.
Scooter Cogar, of Virginia, traveled almost 17 hours to compete in events like the underhand chop and the springboard. Having attended the festival since it began four years ago, Cogar spoke highly of the event and its location.
"You always have a nice breeze across the Mississippi (River)," Cogar said.
Besides the actual lumberjack events, the festival featured a new children's area, offering everything from inflatables, games and pony rides. A trackless train also weaved throughout the entire festival area, carrying smiling, waving children. Many of the families attending agreed the children's area was a great addition.
"It's a blast," said Erika Bender, of Tipton, as her 2-year-old son, Carson, ate his shaved ice. "It's a lot of fun because it's mostly geared to kids."
Ryan Lewison, 5, of Clinton, attended the event with his mother and grandmother. He enjoyed the children's area as well as trough of water set up where people could try log rolling. Dripping wet after lasting seconds on the log, Lewison was all smiles as he talked about how fun it was.
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