Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
Get those flannel shirts ready! It’s Lumberjack Festival time! (And to think we used to hold the Lumberjack Festival in the spring. That’s not lumberjack weather.)
The 32nd Annual Northwest Florida Forestry Conclave Lumberjack Festival is set for 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, on Pensacola State College’s Milton campus at 5988 Highway 90 in Milton.
Admission is free, though canned goods and other nonperishable food items will be collected to help stock the Milton Campus Food Pantry, which helps students in need.
This is the first Lumberjack Festival since 2019. The 2020 festival was canceled because of COVID-19, and organizers decided to bring back the popular event this fall.
“You get the whole fall feel with the flannel and the changing temperatures,’’ said Jennifer Hill Faron, dean of Milton campus and Lumberjack Festival coordinator. “It just seems a perfect fit with the beginning of fall.”
The 2021 Lumberjack Festival will feature several forestry-related competitions, including compass and pacing, knife throwing, standing chop axe throwing, cross-cut sawing and more. While admission to the festival is free, competitors must pay $5. Senior citizens, Pensacola State and high school students can compete for free. Those who do pay the $5 fee can enter as many events as they wish. All competitors must be at least 16 years old.
The festival will include plenty of children events such as face painting, coloring activities, crafts, educational exhibits and outdoor games. There also will be vendors and food trucks.
The seasonal change isn’t the only new aspect of the 2021 Lumberjack Festival. While previous festivals were held in the narrow areas located behind Building 4200, this year’s festival – and subsequent festivals – will be centered at the wide-open track at the Milton campus.
“It really opens up and gives us more room,’’ Hill Faron said. “It will be easier to navigate and should be a good fit.”
Flight Factory Discs, a local disc golf retail and online company, will hold the first Lumberjack Launch disc golf tournament at the Milton campus Gator Links course. Register at https://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/The_Lumberjack_Launch_Presented_by_Flight_Factory_2021.
Also, the Pensacola State College cross-country team will host the PSC Lumberjack Invitational starting at 9 a.m. Winners of the disc golf tournament and cross-country invitational will receive Lumberjack trophies.
“The Lumberjack Festival is probably the highlight of the year for the Milton campus in terms of activities,’’ said PSC President Ed Meadows. “It brings families out and it brings together a lot of our community partners. It’s a lot of fun.”
Meadows would know. He’s a regular competitor in the Grand Caber Toss, where participants toss a large tapered pole called a “caber.” That event is for participants 65 years and older and Meadows has won the event a few times.
“It’s not about winning,’’ he said. “It’s about participating and being together and enjoying a great time at the Milton campus.”
For more information about the 2021 Lumberjack Festival, email LumberJack@PensacolaState.edu.