Timbersports team new at Woodfest
25 September 2015
WOODCHIP DIG: Eight men’s teams and two women’s teams will take to the shovels for a chance at this year’s Big Dig woodchip shovelling title.
WOOD shavings are flying and the smell of pine is in the air as Kawerau prepares for its annual Woodfest festival this weekend.
The major attractions open today but the Woodbugs carving symposium began on Monday, with artists working all week to create timber sculptures along Plunket Street, ready to be sold over Saturday and Sunday.
Organiser Lee Barton said the Woodskills competition, which features carving, woodturning, furniture making, weaving, marquetry and intarsia, would open today at 9am in the Ron Hardie Recreation Centre.
He said more than 200 competitors had entered the various competitions, the greatest number in the event’s 25-year history.
The centre is decorated with a Mad Hatter theme.
Heavy rain dampened last year’s celebrations but MetService predicts a fine but cloudy day today and Sunday, with a few showers on Saturday.
Mr Barton said, weather permitting, the event would again attract 10,000 visitors, the number that passed through the Ron Hardie Recreation Centre doors during Woodskills 2011.
A new addition this year is the New Zealand Stihl timber sports team and axe men competition.
New Zealand timber sport champions and other Kiwi competitors will take on three different wood chopping disciplines between 10am and 3pm on Saturday.
These include standing block chop, underhand chop and Jack and Jill sawing.
Mr Barton said 64 children were already signed up to compete in the Diddy Dig woodchip shovelling competition beside the skate park on Plunket Street at 10am.
He said eight men’s teams and two women’s teams would take to the shovels for a chance at the Big Dig woodchip shovelling title from 9am on Sunday.
In the town centre, more than 30 stalls were registered for the Rotary Craft Market, scheduled to run all day on Saturday, he said.
On Friday morning most of the main infrastructure would be prepared in Prideaux Park for Saturday, with marquees erected by the afternoon.
Last year the truck-pull attraction was missing from Woodfest, but this year it is back. It challenges competitors to pull a 16-tonne Watchorn truck 40 metres.
Mr Barton said teams were made up of eight people and needed to include two women.
He said groups could usually pull the truck the 40 metres but the challenge was to achieve the best time.
The popular pro-motorcross demonstrations, which debuted last year, were back at Prideaux Park at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Another popular attraction was the Dogmatic dog trick team, he said.
The dog agility display on Prideaux Park will begin at 11am and 1.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Other events available all weekend in Prideaux Park are the Purex toilet paper record-setter games, Woodfest Gypsy fair, and trial bike and water wheel demonstrations
The Kawerau Community Church, on Onslow Street, will host a floral arts display over Saturday and Sunday.
Source: Whakatane Beacon