Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo | TheFencePost.com

Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo

Ella Marie Hayes
Saratoga, Wyo.

Photo courtesy of Noel V. Hayes, Jr.Two loggers work together to compete in the Two-Man Handsaw competition during Woodchoppers Jamboree in Encampment, Wyo.

Encampment, Wyo., will be celebrating the 50th Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo on Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, at the Lions Club Arena as they again celebrate the valley’s timber and tie cutting heritage, and recognize the ranching influence in the area. A parade will start the festivities at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, and a melodrama will provide even more entertainment at 7 p.m., both Friday and Saturday evenings.

For added interest, Saturday, June 19, has been designated as “Ol’ Jim” York Day, and on Sunday, June 20, Lions Club Founders Day will be highlighted.

Mandy Harris will reign as the 2010 Jamboree Queen. Mandy attends Saratoga High School. Encampment High School student Michelle Hooker was named Lady-in-Waiting. Dick Ament will serve as the 2010 grand marshal for the parade.

The melodrama, “Legend of Molly Malone” or “The Pluck O’ The Irish” by M.K. O’Roark, will kick off the weekend at 7 p.m. Friday, June 18. The show is produced by special arrangement with Melodrama Mike’s Play Service of Wichita, Kan., in conjunction with the Encampment Riverside Woodchopper’s Jamboree. The comedy, presented by the Grand Encampment Opera Company at the historic “Encampment Opera House,” is under the direction of Mary Martin.

There will be a second melodrama performance at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 20. Admission is by donation at the door.

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

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Woodchopper events start at 10 a.m. Saturday after the parade and at 9 a.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 per day; children under 12 are free.

Men and women will compete in the various Woodchopping and Woodcutting events while putting on quite a show for spectators. In addition, a Pole Climbing Exhibition will be featured each day.

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.

The winner is based on a two-day combined total with cash prizes for first, second and third place on all point events. There is over $2,000 added purse for Woodchopping Events and an opportunity to win a Stihl MS361 chainsaw donated by Shively North.

Woodchopping point events include Tree Felling, Two-man Handsaw Tree Felling, Two-man Handsaw, Two-woman Handsaw, One-man Handsaw, Man and Woman Handsaw Team, Choker Setting, Axe Chopping, Pole Throw, Axe Throw, and Power Saw Log Bucking. Non-Point Events include Mad Loggers Chainsaw Throw and “Open Class, Anything Goes” Power Saw Log Bucking.

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

A popular activity offered for younger children during the Woodchoppers’ action is a treasure hunt for coins planted in a sawdust pit. Older youth look forward to trying their skill at climbing a greased pole to reach money tacked to the top. The crowd enjoys watching the cooperation between contestants as they struggle up the pole for the prize.

The Encampment-Riverside Lions will serve their traditional barbecue lunch for an 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. each day. Rodeo winners will be awarded money prizes with $400 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.

For more information about rodeo events, please call Jerry Kraft at (307) 327-5374.

The Encampment-Riverside Lions Club sponsors the Jamboree activities. Proceeds will be used for civic projects. The Lions Club also provides eye glasses for needy children and sponsors a scholarship for an Encampment High School graduate. These businessmen and ranchers work for the entire year to make the Jamboree a successful and fun-filled time.

For a full slate of entertainment and competition, come and watch the whirlwind of action at the 2010 Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo in Encampment, Wyo., during Father’s Day weekend, June 19-20, and also make a stop at the Encampment Museum to explore the restored structures that form a pioneer town. Many other exhibits in the Doc Culleton Interpretive Center reveal fascinating facts about the mining, ranching, and lumbering history of the area.

The Museum is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Donations are accepted. For more information, please contact the museum at (307) 327-5308.

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