NEW CANEY, Texas – The wood chips will be flying Saturday in New Caney as the Texas Sawmill Festival takes over A.V. “Bull” Sallas Park.
Though the festival itself is in its 12th year, it will play host to the inaugural Texas Lumberjack Championships.
“If you like monster trucks, if you like tractor pulls, if you like things that go fast and make noise, full of energy, then this is it,” said Lee LeCaptain, owner of the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and a former Lumberjack World Champion.
Three different chopping events, one- and two-man cross sawing, both wet and dry logrolling, ax throwing and plenty of chainsaw action are all a part of the competition.
“It started out as just a sort of smaller community event, your local vendors and dance teams,” said festival chairman Christian Shank.
The intention at the time was to simply honor the area’s heritage.
“Everything from neighborhoods to roads to schools are named after different sawmills that were in this area for the past 150 years,” said Shank.
Last year, however, the festival made the move to “Bull” Sallas Park and added the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show.
If you ventured to Epcot at Disney World between October 2014 and December 2015, you may have seen these same guys performing in the Canadian section of the park.
Though the Paul Bunyan Show will be a part of the festival again this year, it is separate from the competition.
“They're competing for real money. It's a $25,000 overall purse. These guys are professional athletes,” said Shank.
And they’re coming from all over the country.
Florida, Connecticut, New York and North Carolina are just a few of the states that will be represented on Saturday.
Unfortunately, Texas is not one of them.
Organizers of the competition hope to see the Lone Star State represented next year as they try to grow the sport locally.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Admission and parking are both free. A.V. “Bull” Sallas Park is located at 21681 McCleskey Rd, New Caney, TX 77357. More information can be found here.