For me, this past weekend’s events started with the Little Miss and Mr. Wood Chip contest that was held on the lawn outside of the Rangeley Inn on the evening of Friday, July 16th.

Ron Haines is always great at the podium blending interesting information about the Maine Forestry Museum with funny questions and answers with the audience.

A nice program was given out that included the history of competition and a listing of all the previous winners since 1985 as well as what they were up to now if information had become known. (For some reason the winner of 1997 was unclear so if anyone knows the answer to that please let the Maine Forestry Museum know.)

Liz Pimentel also had the crowd laughing as she interviewed the 6- to 8-year-old contestants. It was similar to the segment of the old Candid Camera television show where Allen Funt always got the best laughs from the uninhibited answers of the children on stage.

All four contestants were simply adorable and brave little stars that had amazing composure and each with their own special personality that more than sufficiently entertained the audience.

Brooks Knights (age 6) told a joke, Christina Rose Derusso (age 6) spoke about why she likes Rangeley, and Lily Stevens (age 7) and Bridger MacFawn (age 7) together sang the beginning of “Old Town Road”.

After a long and difficult decision Lily Stevens was crowned Little Miss Wood Chip and Brooks Knight was crowned Little Mr. Wood Chip.

A highlight of the evening was the Northern Explosion Dance studio performers. Attendees got to see an extremely talented and cheerful group of teens clogging to all types of music. I hadn’t realized how interesting the history nor how varied the clogging moves were until the fun presentation. Topped off with delicious chocolate cake, I was very happy to have attended.

The next day, Saturday July 17, the skies thankfully cleared, and the parade was lined with fans for the all the groups represented. The beautifully filled logging trucks with family aboard, and folks from many of the areas businesses and non-profits dressed up their floats with a lot of originality and good spirits.

The parade, followed directly by the birling competition on the lake by the town park and the festival at the Maine Forestry Museum made for a busy day. Demonstrations of using an excavator by the guys from Mike Cerminara landscaping for young children was fun. Also, the vendors were really great. (I bought a cribbage board even though I don’t play cribbage because it was so beautiful). I got some delicious “bean hole beans” and listened to some great folksy music performed by the Pulled Together Band in between watching the various grueling competitions that included crosscut saws, chainsaws and ax throwing.

Winners of the competitions were as follows:

•Ben Marshall and Mary Reeder were the grand prize winners for the men’s and women’s divisions. They each received a gift certificate from Sthil for a new chainsaw.
•Axe Throw – Chris Savosh
•Men’s underhand – Kyle Whitmore
•Men’s crosscut – Evan Flewelling & Mike Palladino
•Jack & Jill crosscut – Mike Palladino & Valerie Hoffman
•Modified chainsaw – Ben Marshall
•Open chainsaw – Billy Kunelius
•Birling Mike Palladino
•Women’s Underhand – Amelia Aznive
•Jack and Jill Standing Block – Mary Reeder & Kyle Whitmore
•Women’s bow saw – LaVonne Mikloiche

I’m sure everyone didn’t get to see all there was to offer, however, I hope people took the time to read up on this year’s Maine Forestry Museum Hall of Fame inductees: first woman to pursue a forest management degree Sarah Medina, current and first woman to hold the title of Maine State Forester-Patty Cormier, current Harvest and Transportation Manager for the Three Rivers District-Tricia Quinn, and “lady horse logger” Mary Dunham. I was going to attempt to do a summary of the accomplishments of these women but I’m truly afraid I wouldn’t do them justice so if you don’t already know their stories, please take some time to visit the Maine Forestry Museum. (Summer hours are 10am – 4pm Wednesday to Sunday until September.) Or, at the very least check out their Facebook page @maineforestrymuseumMFM, where they share some of the history of these four women, who are the very first and hopefully not the last women to receive this great honor.

Birling competition round. Seen here on the left winner Mike Palladino. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Pulled Together Band played bluegrass and folk on the back of a pick up truck as well as during the festivities at the Maine Forestry Museum. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Oh the joy of retrieving parade candy. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Ron Haines dressed for fun to give his annual joyride. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

2021 Little Miss & Mr. Woodchip Brooks Knight age 6 and Lily Stevens age 7. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Northern Explosion Cloggers seen here at the Little Miss & Mister Woodchip competition. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Brothers and axe manufacturers (and festival vendors), Brant and Cochran. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Fun is for everyone!

Abby Stevens, Emcee and competitor, Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Standing block competition. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Chris Savosh, winner of the Axe Throw competition. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Underhand competition.

Crowds at Maine Forestry Museum festival enjoyed watching several hours of great competition. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

A great example of work hard, play hard- Mark Beauregard Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

One of the crosscut bouts. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Northern Explosion Dance Studio group put on several great shows both Friday and Saturday. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Maine Forestry Museum Hall of Fame inductees from left Sarah Medina, Patty Cormier, Tricia Quinn, Mary Dunham. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

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Bill Pierce of the Outdoor Heritage Museum finally takes some time out of his busy schedule to go fishing. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Loggers from all over the area came to help celebrate. Seen here perhaps a future logger? Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Seen here the birling competitors who kept the crowd at the town park well entertained. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

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