Monday, September 22, 2014

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Hudson Valley

2nd Annual Erin Wood Festival

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Albany/HV: 2nd Annual Erin Wood Festival
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It is a sporting event like no other. There are no balls, no nets and no points scored. All you need is an axe, a chainsaw and some wood. Our Bill Mich was in the Chemung County town of Erin as a hand full of competitors channeled their inner Paul Bunyan as part of the 2nd Annual Wood Festival.


ERIN, N.Y. -- At some points on Saturday, the chainsaws were so loud, you couldn't hear yourself think. But in these events, it is not about thinking, it is about speed.

"We're going to get into some two-man sawing. Some Jack and Jill sawing. Some single buck. One guy, big piece of wood. And then after that, we are going to chop between our feet really fast and do some underhand," said Chris Cicora, the festival organizer.

All of this and more was a part of the 2nd Annual Wood Festival in Chemung County. The event is a gathering that includes some of the top lumberjack competitors from New York and Pennsylvania. They promise that it is much more than just going out to the backyard and splitting some wood.

"This is as fun and as exciting as a sport is, but it is not something where you are going to go home and pick up a piece of equipment and catch right onto. A lot of us have been at this for many years. We have a lot of special safety equipment that you don't see because we wear it under our clothes," said competitor Julie Miller of Branchport.

But the participants are certainly not deterring people from getting into the sport. It takes a lot of time and plenty of training, but they said it is worthwhile. Getting people interested is why the event was held in Erin in the first place.

"Everybody sees this stuff on ESPN but don't really know a whole lot about it. And it is not available everywhere, these competitions. So it would be a good thing to come out and see the event," said competitor Paul Pfenninger of Scottsville.

Whether you want to see just how fast someone can cut through a block of wood, or what a sculptor could turn that block into, the Wood Festival may be the place for you.

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