Lumberjills compete at the Johnny Appleseed Festival. File photo

Lumberjack and Lumberjill Competition, Pie Contest and More Highlight Another Fun-Filled Johnny Appleseed Festival

October 10, 2022

SHEFFIELD, Pa. – The air was crisp and the smell of autumn filled Sheffield’s Memorial Park over the weekend at the 16th annual Johnny Appleseed festival.

The vendors were lined throughout the park with delicious foods, and fun-filled events like the Lumberjack and Lumberjill competition, the horse and tractor pulls, the apple pie baking contest, the wine trail, cornhole tournament and more kept patrons busy all weekend.

Winners of the pie contest included – Double Crust: John George (first place), Denice George (second place), and Cailyn Scalise (third place); Single Crust – Megan Stephens (first place), Patsy Repine (second place) and Donna McDonald (first place) and Lucas and Nicholas Joblon capturing first place among the 19 pies that were entered.

Meanwhile, at the lumberjack and lumberjill competition, professionals and amateurs alike entertained the crowd Friday through Sunday.

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It’s a sport that is all-inclusive, but perhaps hard to break through.

“One of the biggest barriers to lumberjacking and lumberjills is finding equipment and learning how to do these disciplines,” explained Nathan Waterfield, who served as emcee for the event. “It’s not an easy sport to get into. Therefore, the number of competitors in the country are around 500, excluding the collegiate level. That’s a great place to get started and one of the only places to get started. Other than that, you have to really reach out, buy gear for yourself, and find a competitor. It’s difficult.”

Then there’s the matter of purchasing the equipment.

For example, racing saws used in competition are expensive and must be ordered in advance.

“There are about four manufacturers in the world that make these highly-tuned racing saws,” Waterfield said. “They resemble crosscut saws like maybe something you’d see hanging on a wall at your camp. They are custom built.”

Those typical saws run anywhere from $2,800-$3,800.

Competitors competed in events such as the springboard chop, single buck, barrel split, crosscut, standing block, open hot saw, underhand chop, and butchers blocks.

And when the lumberjack and jills competition and other events of the day were complete on Saturday, there was the annual lighting of the luminaries.

The lighting of the luminaries. Photo Johnny Appleseed Festival Facebook.

Next year’s event will take place Oct. 13-15.

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