ASHEVILLE NC – The Cradle of Forestry invites people of all ages to celebrate the heritage of western North Carolina during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is the Cradle’s largest event of the year.
This activity-filled, family event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in a unique and beautiful setting. More than 80 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors and forestry students will be on site during the celebration. During the event, five colleges will compete for a trophy in the 18th Annual John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, organized by Haywood Community College. STIHL is the presenting sponsor of the festival.
Festival-goers can cheer as college forestry students compete during the Woodsmen’s Meet that has the flavor of an old-time lumberjack competition. Students from Haywood Community College, Warren Wilson College, Penn State Mont Alto, Montgomery Community College, and North Carolina State University will test their skills in a number of events including archery, axe throwing, crosscut sawing and pole felling. Spectators of the Woodsmen’s Meet are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to sit on.
Among the Cradle of Forestry’s historic buildings and trails, visitors can see demonstrations of spinning, candle making, pottery, whittling, wood carving, a spring pole lathe and creating corn husk dolls. Visit with Trout Unlimited volunteers and try casting for one of the trout in the pond. Try archery under the guidance of the North Carolina Bowhunters Association. Learn about efforts to restore the native chestnut tree from The American Chestnut Foundation.
New this year will be two falconry demonstrations at the amphitheater. Meet live birds of prey and learn about their special hunting adaptations.
Festival-goers can ride a horse-drawn wagon along a section of the Forest Festival Trail. Accents on Asheville will provide a shuttle to the Woodmen’s Meet for those unable to walk the trail to the event. Hob Nob at the Cradle will sell food.
Forest heritage is a focal point of the festival, and the Cradle of Forestry is the birthplace of modern forestry in America. Dr. Carl Alwin Schenck, forester for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate from 1895 – 1909, founded America’s first forestry school in 1898 and used the present Cradle of Forestry area as its summer campus. At that time the word “forestry” was a vague and new idea in this nation. He encouraged his students and timberland owners to manage forests for the future. Forest Festival Day celebrates this heritage and our forest lands today.
For a complete list of activities, exhibitors and demonstrations during Forest Festival Day visit www.cradleofforestry.com, or call the Cradle at (828) 877-3130. Admission for this event is $6.00 for ages 16 and older; $3.00 for youth ages 4-15, and holders of America the Beautiful and Golden Age passes. Children under 4 years old are admitted free. The Cradle of Forestry is located four miles south of Parkway Milepost 412 on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls.
Order of Woodsmen’s Meet Events
- Archery and Dendrology (concurrent)
- Team Log Roll
- Orienteering (conducted most of the day)
- Horizontal Speed Chop (Female)
- Water Boil
- Pulpwood Toss for Accuracy
- Axe Throw and Pole Fell (concurrent)
- Pole Climb and Chain Saw Events (concurrent)
- Standing Block Chop
- Cross Cut Saw Events
- Single Buck and Bolt Split (concurrent)
- Horizontal Speed Chop