FILE photo 2019 Forest Festival

Visitors gathered at the Cradle of Forestry to watch the lumberjack skill competition as part of the 2019 Forest Festival.

FIND Outdoors invites people of all ages to celebrate the forest heritage of western North Carolina at the Cradle of Forestry during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This activity-filled, family event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in the Cradle’s unique and beautiful setting.

Forestry students, traditional craftsmen and exhibitors will be on site during the celebration.

Typically held the first Saturday in October, this event was rescheduled due to the threat of weather from Hurricane Ian.

During the event four colleges and universities will compete for a trophy in the Annual John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet organized by Haywood Community College in Clyde.

STIHL is the presenting sponsor and Bojangles of Brevard will provide breakfast for each of the competing students.

Festival-goers can cheer as forestry students compete during the Woodsmen’s Meet that has the flavor of an old-time lumberjack competition.

Students will test their skills in a number of events including archery, axe throwing, crosscut sawing, wood chopping, chainsaw, log rolling, pole climbing and pole felling.

Participating colleges and universities include Haywood Community College in Clyde; NC State University in Raleigh; Penn State Mont Alto in Mont Alto and Montgomery Community College in Troy.

The Woodsmen’s Meet is held in the open field at the Pink Beds Picnic Area. This area allows for the safety of participants and spectators while at the same time providing opportunities to see all the action.

Spectators are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket for comfort.

Traditional crafters will congregate along the Cradle’s Biltmore Campus Trail offering demonstrations of wood carving, textile crafts and traditional wood working.

Festival goers can cut a tree “cookie” with a cross cut saw to take home. Spend the day with Phil Reeves and the Apple Country Carvers; Peggy and Bruce Hoffmaster, the Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI); and FIND Outdoors and Dr. Joe Candillo presenting information on Native American culture, history and craft.

The Trolley Company will provide a shuttle between the Cradle’s Forest Discovery Center and the Pink Beds from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Pink Beds Picnic Area will be closed to non-event use for the day.

Admission for this event is $10 regular admission; $6 for youth ages 4-12, and $5 for federal pass holders and Cradle season pass holders. Children under 4 years old will be admitted free.

Tickets will be available on-site at the Cradle the day of the event. Cash is encouraged but credit cards will be accepted.

The Cradle is located four miles south of Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 412 on U.S. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest and six miles north of Looking Glass Falls.

For more information on Forest Festival Day, visit www.gofindoutdoors.org/forest-festival-day .

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