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Chainsaws And Tree Climbing: It's Fouth Of July In Estacada

Families flocked to Estacada in droves Monday to celebrate American independence and the town's unique logging history. 

Photo: Bryan M. Vance/OPB

The Estacada Timber Festival gives Northwest loggers a chance to put their skills to the test. Competitors go toe-to-toe in a variety of timber industry skill competitions, including good, old-fashioned log sawing. 

The Estacada Timber Festival gives Northwest loggers a chance to put their skills to the test. Competitors go toe-to-toe in a variety of timber industry skill competitions, including good, old-fashioned log sawing. 

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

With the sun breaking through the clouds for a few hours, families came out in droves Monday to celebrate the Fourth of July with a unique Northwestern twist at the Estacada Timber Festival.

The historic Clackamas County logging town’s annual celebration is more than just fireworks and fair food, it’s a celebration of rich timber history.

The Estacada Timber Festival brought hundreds of people to the tiny Clackamas County timber town for a unique celebration of American independence and Northwest logging culture Monday, July 4, 2016. 

The Estacada Timber Festival brought hundreds of people to the tiny Clackamas County timber town for a unique celebration of American independence and Northwest logging culture Monday, July 4, 2016. 

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

Chainsaws and work boots are the accessories of choice at this Independence Day celebration. Men raced to climb 50-foot poles as part of the speed-tree climbing festival. Less than 50 yards away, contestants lined up to test their ax-throwing skills by trying to split open a can of beer wedged into the heart of a massive tree trunk painted to look like a target. 

The Estacada Timber Festival wouldn't be complete without an ax throwing competition. Competitors try to split open a can of beer wedged into the center of a massive tree trunk.

The Estacada Timber Festival wouldn’t be complete without an ax throwing competition. Competitors try to split open a can of beer wedged into the center of a massive tree trunk.

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

Then, of course, there were good old-fashioned log cutting competitions. Men and women competed in a variety of events from individual hand sawing to speed races with gasoline powered chainsaws.

In this relay race, men put their nerves and agility to the test. The competitors race down a suspended log, chainsaws in hand, to saw off a tip before racing back down the log. 

In this relay race, men put their nerves and agility to the test. The competitors race down a suspended log, chainsaws in hand, to saw off a tip before racing back down the log. 

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

At one point in the competition, two men raced along bouncing logs, chainsaws running in hand, to test agility, balance and their nerves. But despite the apparent danger at the festival, all ended well. Both men made it safely off the log, chainsaws still in hand (and hands still firmly attached to their bodies) as another year of Estacada’s unique Fourth of July celebration came to a close. 

Estacada Timber Festival