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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Nick Hastedt saws through a log during a lumberjack show Sunday during the 2018 Outdoor Sports Lake & Cabin Show at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Dave Weatherhead prepares to throw an axe at a wooden target during Sunday’s 30-minute lumberjack show.

  • Nick Hastedt races to the top of a wooden poll during a lumberjack show held at the 2018 Outdoor Sports Lake & Cabin Show at Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.  

Monday, January 29, 2018 1:00 am

Lumberjacks put on show

Regale Coliseum crowd with craft, peppered with puns

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

More than 100 people watched Sunday as lumberjack Dave Weatherhead wielded a chain saw, declaring intentions to transform a wooden stump into a rabbit.

The demonstration paused the competition between him and another lumberjack, who were conducting their last performance at the Outdoor Sports, Lake and Cabin Show.

Elsewhere in Memorial Coliseum, children tried their hand at fishing, kayaking, archery and such thrills as zip lining.

The annual three-day event also featured recreation vehicles, boats and yurts.

For the Loubier family, the activities were appealing on a day with nothing to do, Elizabeth Loubier said as her sons, Cooper, 6, and Carson, 4, fished at Grandpa Doc's fishing hole.

“They love fishing,” she said.

By then, the Fort Wayne family had been at the outdoor show longer than Loubier anticipated. The boys explored the Kids Outdoor Escape – an activity area where children could run, jump and bounce for an additional charge – and watched the Timberworks Lumberjack Show, she said.

The roughly 30-minute show featured friendly competition between Weatherhead and lumberjack Nick Hastedt as they chopped wood, threw axes and climbed poles that stretched to the ceiling.

Their challenges – especially those involving chainsaws – created much sawdust and many woodchips, which turned into audience souvenirs.

Nine-year-old Grace Fink was among those who got a piece signed.

“She loves watching the lumberjacks do their thing,” said their father, Chris Fink, noting Sunday's performance was Grace's third.

He credited the lumberjacks' humor – their dialogue was sprinkled with puns – for keeping the audience, especially the youngsters, engaged.

Weatherhead, for instance, had this commentary when he lopped off the rabbit ears during the carving demonstration: “You made me cut a hare too deep.”

But, as the audience soon learned, the slip was intentional. When turned upside down, those now-detached bunny ears became legs for a child-sized chair he gave to a boy in the second row.

The audience seemed more amused than irritated – or “ear-itated,” as Weatherhead punned.