2017-08-10 / Outdoors

Lumberjacks to battle, history acted out at Port Oneida Fair

Night sky extends activities


A CROWD FAVORITE, lumberjacks will once again battle it out at this year’s Port Oneida Fair being held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. A CROWD FAVORITE, lumberjacks will once again battle it out at this year’s Port Oneida Fair being held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. Take a tour of the Kelderhouse Cemetery, see a historic cooking demonstration at the Charles and Hattie Olsen Farm or watch two lumberjacks battle for tree-sawing supremacy while an audience cheers them on.

History on Friday and Saturday will again take center stage at the Port Oneida Fair presented by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in partnership with Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear (PHSB).

“It’s a really wonderful family event that lends itself well to intergenerational activities,” said Susan Pocklington, director of PHSB. “There’s a lot of thing for kids and grandparents and it raises awareness of the historic properties that exist in Port Oneida and our efforts to save them.”

Fair activities will be spread over six sites from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days — and one night. It ends Saturday with solar viewing and an astronomy party.

Visitors can take a shuttle, drive, hike or bike to watch more than 90 demonstrators at the Thoreson, Olsen, Burfiend, Dechow, and Kelderhouse farms, as well as at the schoolhouse.

Timber framers, quilters, blacksmiths, and basket weavers will demonstrate their crafts, and park rangers, volunteers, and Port Oneida residents will share their stories.

Pocklington said she’s happy to report that dueling lumberjacks will be swinging axes Friday and Saturday.

“They were super popular,” she said. “They get the audience cheering, they do ax-throwing and chopping and they do a variety of lumberjack activities. It’s really fun.”

Food will be available to purchase or visitors can pack a picnic lunch.

On Saturday, astronomy activities will take place at the Thoreson farm, where a solar viewing will take place from 4-6 p.m., with a Star Party planned for 9-11 p.m. Observers will see summer night sky constellations, Saturn, and maybe a few bright Perseid meteors, with the Perseid meteor shower peaking that night.

Park rangers and members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be on-hand to share telescopes and knowledge. Visitors will learn about astronomy in the 1900s. Bring a flashlight for the event.

The fair promotes the preservation of rural traditional skills, crafts, landscapes and communities of the Upper Great Lakes Region through education and artistic expression.

The Lakeshore is once again partnering with Bay Area Recycling for Charities to “go green” and compost or recycle materials, with special bins placed at each site.

Compostable service ware will be used, including cups, plates and utensils made from plant-based materials that break down in a compost pile within weeks, as opposed to plastics and paper material that can take generations to decompose.

There is no cost, but participants will need a National Park Service pass.

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