Looking for something different to do this weekend? How about some chainsaw carving and lumberjack contests?
This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of one of Oklahoma’s longest running festivals, the Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest.
The event takes place Friday through Sunday (June 15-17) at Beavers Bend State Park in Broken Bow.
Owa-Chito is a combination of Choctaw words that mean a “big, happy hunting party.”
In the mid-1800s, Choctaw families would gather men, women and children and go into the forests and mountains to have fun and enjoy themselves in the great outdoors.
The Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest is held each year so the community and visitors can come together and celebrate the heritage and culture of the people of southeastern Oklahoma.
Forestry competitions showcase the spirit and heritage of the forest and are a very popular event of the festival. The competition draws men and women who make their living from the woods. Contests include double buck sawing, ax throwing, Jack-n-Jill crosscut, as well as other forestry events.
Each year, a “Bull of the Woods” winner is selected from the field and this year a new award will be presented to the “Crew of the Woods.”
Get ready for chainsaws, log rolling and more as The All American Lumberjack Show performs live. These professional lumberjacks will show off their skills in several areas including: cross-cut sawing, springboard tree topping, stock saw, quick carve and water events like the boom run and log rolling.
The Owa-Chito Art Show will kick-off the festival with a featured artist reception Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Forest Heritage Center Museum.
The art show contains over 300 works of art entered by over 100 artists within the four-state area of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
Those attending the reception will get a sneak peek at the artwork, a premiere buying opportunity and the chance to meet this year’s featured artist, Stephen G. Weaver. Educated as a geologist, Weaver combines his scientific knowledge with his photographic eye to produce stunning images that capture the beauty, structure and composition of the earth.
The art show is open now though Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Sunday from 12-1 p.m.
To view the schedule of events for the Festival of the Forest weekend, visit www.forestry.ok.gov
For more information, call (580) 494-6497.