Saratoga Woodchoppers Jamboree June 13-15 | TheFencePost.com

Saratoga Woodchoppers Jamboree June 13-15

by Ella Marie Hayes
Saratoga, Wyo.

Sawdust and wood chips will fly again when lumberjacks compete during the 48th Annual Woodchoppers Jamboree on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15, 2008, as they celebrate the valley’s timber and tie-cutting heritage. At 1:30 p.m. each day, rodeo action will recognize the ranching influence in the valley. On both Friday and Saturday evenings, a melodrama will provide even more entertainment.

The weekend will kick off on Friday night at 7 p.m., with a melodrama, “Van Highstrung or Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew” produced by special arrangement with Melodrama Mike’s Play Service, Wichita, Kan. The comedy, presented by the Grand Encampment Opera Company at the historic “Encampment Opera House,” also the Town Hall building, is under the direction of Mary Martin.There will be a second performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening. Admission is by donation at the door.

The parade will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning in Encampment and end in Riverside. No advance registration is required, but participants should meet at the Old Opera House (City Hall) at 8:30 a.m. for float judging.

Woodchopper events will start on Saturday morning right after the parade, at 10 a.m. and again at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Men and women will compete in the various Woodchopping and Woodcutting events while putting on quite a show for spectators.

The Rocky Mountain Championship Lumberjack Trophy will be awarded to the lumberjack compiling the most points during the two day contest. A prize will also be given for the all-around woman.

Woodchopping Point Events include Tree Felling, Handsawing Competitions for both men and women, 2nd Class-Small 65cc Power Saw events, Medium Class Modified Chainsaw, Choker Setting, Axe Chopping, Axe Throw, and Pole Throwing. Non-Point Events include the Mad Loggers Chainsaw Throw and “Open Class-Anything Goes” Power Saw Log Bucking.

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The entry fee is $10 per person per day. For more information about woodchopper events, contact Ron Harvey at woodchoppersjamboree@yahoo.com or (970) 210-2955.

Popular activities offered for the kids during the Woodchoppers action include climbing a greased pole to reach money tacked to the top. Watch the cooperation between contestants as they struggle up the pole for the prize. Smaller children can participate in a treasure hunt for coins planted in a sawdust pit.

The Encampment-Riverside Lions will serve their traditional barbecue lunch for a additional charge each day, starting at 11:30 a.m. Hamburgers and hot dogs will also be available.Beverages will be on sale throughout each day. (No coolers will be allowed on the grounds.)

The Wyoming Rodeo Association (WRA) sanctioned rodeo action will begin at 1:30 p.m. both days. Rodeo winners will be awarded money prizes with $450 added purse for each event.

Rodeo events include Saddle and Bareback Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Bull Riding, Men’s Calf Roping, Barrel Racing, Ladies’ Breakaway Roping, and Team Roping for both men and women.

To enter, both local and WRA members should call 1- 719-486-0599 on June 9, between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Rodeo contestants must furnish their own equipment.. The stock contractor is Jerry Berentis Rodeo Company from Fruita, Colorado.

Special events for the young folks will add even more fun for everyone. Children, ages 6-12, may enter the Kids Calf Riding Contest, if they have a parent’s permission and sign up for one of the available calves. The first 20 are accepted – with 10 participating each day. There will also be a Boot Race for all the kids who wish to compete.

For more information about Rodeo events call Jerry Kraft at 307-327-5374.

Admission to the Lions Club Grounds will be $7 per person each day which covers both the woodchopping and rodeo action. Children under 12 are free.

The Encampment-Riverside Lions Club sponsors the Jamboree activities. Proceeds will be used for Civic Projects, including improvements to the Lions Grounds where the annual activities are held. These businessmen and ranchers work for the entire year to make the Jamboree a successful and fun-filled time.

As another ongoing project, the local Lions purchase eye glasses for children in need. The local club also provides a scholarship for an Encampment High School graduate each year.

For a full slate of entertainment and competition, come and watch the whirlwind of action at the 2008 Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo in Encampment, Wyoming during the third full weekend, June 14th and 15th, and make a stop at the Encampment Museum, as well.

For more information, call the Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce (307) 326-8855.