Katrina Davenport of Honeoye rips into a block of wood in the lumberjack competition held at the 2011 edition of Stony Creek Mountain Festival. This Sunday Aug. 4, woodsmen and woodswomen from all over the state will be competing in the events, sponsored by the New York State Lumberjacks Association. The Mountain Festival offers a variety of activities both Saturday Aug. 3 and Sunday Aug. 4.
A small town tucked away in the Southern Adirondacks is hosting a festival this weekend that annually celebrates its rural traditions — and this year goes several steps further.
Stony Creek, population of 767, is holding its annual Mountain Festival from Friday
Aug. 2 through Sunday Aug. 4.
Headlining the fest is the lumberjack competition beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday with both men and women chopping timber and sawing wood with crosscut, chain and bow saws, as well as throwing axes at targets. These competitions, a sanctioned showdown sponsored by the New York State Lumberjacks Association, are an annual crowd favorite, featuring both local competitors and seasoned competitors from around the state. Jake Bederian of Warrensburg, who’s helping organize the competition, said this week that several nationally renowned chainsaw operators will be proving their prowess in the events.
The Mountain Festival started off Friday night with music and dancing to the Woedoggies, an acoustic county band from Vermont. They played in the town park, where most all the weekend’s events are to occur.
On Saturday, the Mountain Fest hits its stride, with its lineup of vendors, crafters, mountain music, educational expos and entertainment. Most events and activities continue on Sunday. The festival starts at 11 a.m. both days.
Activities for youth include tie-dyeing, various games, a bounce house, nature sessions and face painting, offered Saturday and Sunday. Free snow cones and cotton candy will be available for children. Those that want to tie-dye a T-shirt are urged to bring one with them.
On Saturday, Nancy Kimball will offer her Birds of Prey presentation at noon and 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, naturalist Dean Davis will be replacing Kimball in the lineup, as he presents his reptile show. Saturday’s lineup includes Luisa Sherman presenting Colonial cooking demonstrations, and town resident Joe McChensey, an artist, displaying his original paintings depicting local scenes. Lisa Bartow will be bringing various animals from her farm, and both days, naturalist Dean Moore will be helping children find creatures in the creek nearby.
One prominent feature on Saturday, held in observance of Warren County’s bicentennial, is the Stony Creek Timeline. This consists of a lineup of local people re-enacting prominent Stony Creek residents who were pivotal in the town’s history — including homesteader and tanner John P. Bowman and Brooklyn Dodger pitcher George Bell, who operated Bell’s Hunting Lodge on Harrisburg Road following his outstanding baseball career. Event official Ronda Thomas said that specific characters will be making presentations at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
“Walk the living-history timeline and hear the characters tell their story,” she said.
Both Saturday and Sunday, the festival hosts an encampment of Viking re-enactors, demonstrating their ancient culture’s customs, including cooking, crafts, weaponry, music, and blacksmithing.
Entertainment on Saturday features the Stillhouse Rounders, playing their old-time rural string music through daytime hours. Following at 7:30 p.m. is Big Medicine, a band that plays rhythm & blues, folk and rock.
If the festivities weren’t enough to draw a crowd, the accompanying Townwide Garage Sale is also attracting hundreds more. Dozens of households are opening up their barns and garages allowing people to browse for bargains.
Saturday, a scavenger hunt will be conducted, and shoppers can pick up letters at garage sale sites listed on the Chamber of Commerce’s sale map. If they visit all those designated, they can spell a secret phrase, turn it in at the Chamber booth and be entered in a prize drawing.
Thomas said that the array of attractions and activities was being offered in part because the 2013 festival was celebrating its 10th anniversary as well as two other milestones: the county’s bicentennial and the 50th anniversary of the Stony Creek Chamber of Commerce.
“Through the weekend, we’ve got something for everybody,” she said.