Travel Experience: Lumberjack World Championships
The Lumberjack World Championships are a huge deal in Hayward, Wisconsin. Men and women from many countries come to the small town of Hayward to chop and saw wood, log roll, climb wooden poles and compete to see who is the best lumberjack in the world. My family has seen the grounds where the world championship is held countless times and we have watched from the outside but we have never actually bought tickets and gone inside to watch. This year we changed that.
A group of us bought tickets for Thursday, and they were $25 per person for general admission. There was also the option to buy tickets for all 3 days but we were only going to be in Hayward for 1 day. Thursday was the qualifying day, the top 2 or 4 people from each heat of 4-7 heats would advance to Friday. The events we watched on Thursday were the women's and men's underhand chop, standing block chop, springboard chop, speed pole climbing, and the warm up for the boom run. While this was going on people were also practicing log rolling in the pond behind the dock where the chopping and sawing events took place.
Going into the event I was hesitant because I didn't know what to expect, but I was happily surprised by how interesting it turned out to be. When my mom told me we would be watching people chop wood I was not very impressed. I thought that anyone could chop wood. Once I actually saw what these people were doing and how crazy hard it was, I totally understood why people would want to come, watch, and cheer on their favorite Lumberjack. I also realized that even though I would consider myself fit, compared to these people I have no strength at all.
Not only were the events of the Lumberjack World Championships going on, there were also vendors around selling food, power tools, clothing, and other items. I briefly looked around at ,the vendors, and as to be expected, they all had some connection to the Lumberjack games. The food that was offered there was all the food you would expect: kettle corn, cotton candy, soda, smoothies, and hot dogs.
After watching the Lumberjack World Championships I was wondering how on earth people got into this sport because it is not super easy to practice running across logs or climbing up 90ft wooden polls in your free time. I decided to look into this, with the help of my best friend ,Google. I learned most of the people involved come from a family who is already involved. This is because they already have access to the proper gear, coaching and practice facilities. For people who are not born in to a Lumberjack family the best way to get involved in Lumberjack sports is to participate in college. Many colleges around the US have teams. Once you are a part of a team you have access to different training facilities, the proper tools and coaching.
If I was going to go back to the Lumberjack World Championships I would most likely go on either Friday or Saturday. While Thursday was still fun, I think it would be more exciting on the other days, particularly Saturday, because that is when the competition gets more intense, and the awards are given out. On the flip side of that, the tickets do get more expensive on Friday ($27 GA) and Saturday ($30 GA) because they are more in demand. So, you will have to decide if you are willing to pay a few dollars more per person to see more events. No matter what day you may have the opportunity to attend the Lumberjack World Championships, I recommend going. It is a great experience you can only have in Hayward, Wisconsin.
Next year the Lumberjack World Championships are held on August 1-3 in Hayward, Wisconsin.