Axes, chainsaws, food and fun.
There are 38 food and craft vendors ready to serve at the fifth annual Johnny Appleseed Festival in Sheffield this weekend.
The festival kicked off with an opening ceremony at 1 p.m. Friday at Sheffield Memorial Park and will last until Sunday afternoon. It is staged at Memorial Field in downtown Sheffield, across from the volunteer fire department.
Times Observer photo by Kara White
Festival volunteers unload over 168 pieces of wood to be used during the professional lumberjack competition at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and at noon on Sunday. Chainsaw carving, ax throwing and log rolling will round out the events for the Johnny Appleseed Festival weekend.
The main event of the festival is the Professional Lumberjack Competition starting at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and again at noon on Sunday. The competition has drawn participants from New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota and even the Netherlands, according to Festival Chairman Sandy Setili.
New to the competition this year is birling, also known as log rolling, which involves participants trying to maintain their balance on a 12-foot log that is floating in water while they roll the log with their feet.
"We have a participant that holds nine world championship titles, we have the current U.S. champion and also the current world champion coming here to do birling," Setili said.
A portable pond holding over 8,000 gallons of water was constructed out of hay bales and a plastic liner for the event. Wood used for the entire competition was both donated and purchased by various local businesses.
"We've had so much help in making this happen," said event organizer Kristi Kulka. "There are a lot of volunteers that put in a lot of hours."
"We usually take a month off after the festival ends, then we start planning all over again," Setili said with a laugh.
Also happening over the weekend is a horse pull, wine fest at the Sheffield fire hall, an apple pie contest, an antique tractor pull and plenty of live music. Fireworks will light the night sky at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
As usual at fairs and festivals, there are many food options from snacks like blooming onions and funnel cake to bigger eats like Italian sausage and pulled pork sandwiches. Tents are up and vendors are offering baked goods, quilts, honey, jewelry, raffle tickets, gift baskets, among others.
Breakfast will be served at the concession stand by the Sheffield Rotary from 7 to 9:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday with food and craft vendors open for business at 10 a.m.