New events at Woodchoppers


This weekend the 55th annual Woodchoppers Jamboree will be held on Saturday and Sunday. This year will be full of the traditional events and will also have some new features.

According to Bob Merrill, president of the Encampment/Riverside Lions Club, and Jerry Kraft, rodeo organizer, this year should be just as good for the Woodchoppers events—and there will be a new addition this year. Women will have another opportunity to compete in chainsaw events.

“There were some women really interested in adding that event, so why not,” stated Merrill.

Previously, there have only been two events for women to compete in: handsaw and axe throwing.

Another new entertainment feature this year is the rodeo will have a clown that will perform throughout the events. The clown’s name is Robert Arnold, according to Kraft. “This year we have a rodeo clown, I mean we’ve got a lot of clowns running around but most of them are running around wearing yellow vests,” said Merrill.

The last new feature that should be available on both Saturday and Sunday are two very tame horses that kids can get a chance to ride throughout the day, giving them a chance to be a rodeo cowboy (or cowgirl).

In addition, Kraft says the competition at the rodeo has increased recently, as both amateur and professionals are able to compete at this event.

“We’re getting a lot of high quality contestants. A long time ago they couldn’t enter the professional rodeos and the amateur rodeos. So we get a lot of the same contestants that might show up at a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) rodeo in this circuit.”

Merrill is hoping the weather will stay nice for the evening, as with his experience, he finds that the turnout severely diminishes based on the weather conditions.

The parade will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. According to Merrill, four community awards of excellence should be handed out before the parade begins.

Woodchoppers events begin at 10 a.m. both on Saturday and Sunday starting with the wood-cutting events. However Saturday will be the day with more events, and there will be a larger turnout. “Saturday is our big day of course and we hope to get 800 people showing up,” said Merrill. “If we can get half of a Saturday crowd to show up Sunday we would be pretty happy.”

The rodeo starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and there will be overlap between wood-cutting events and rodeo events.


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