Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee events

Thursday

• 5 to 10 p.m., Carnival rides

• 5:30 p.m., Queen obstacle course and speech

• 7 p.m., Live music, ElectricBob and Short Circuit

Friday

• 1 p.m., Axe Throw Training Fundraiser

• 3 to 11 p.m., Carnival rides

• 6 p.m., Queen coronation

• 7 p.m., Live music, Weekend at Jimmy’s

Saturday

• 10 a.m., Parade

• 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Carnival rides

• Noon, Logging events

• 3 p.m., Arm wrestling

• 4 p.m., Junior tug of war

• 7 p.m., Live music, Stompbox

Sunday

• 9 a.m., Church service

• 10 to 11:30 a.m., Sign-ups for logging events

• 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Carnival rides

• Noon, Logging events

• 4 p.m., Tug of war



The grand marshal for the 69th Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee, 51-year-old Troy Barajas, has worked in the timber industry for decades and he’s been coaching tug o’ war teams for the past dozen years.

Tug o’ war has been touted as the main event at the Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee since its inception.

“There’s only one real tug o’ war in the whole United States now, and it’s here in Tuolumne County,” Barajas said Wednesday. “We do it the old-fashioned way. Six people on a team. Two teams of adults, two junior teams.”

Barajas said the grownups compete as the Tuolumne County Loggers vs. Tuolumne Lumberjacks. The juniors compete on teams representing Summerville and Sonora high schools. Barajas said he started the junior competition 11 years ago.

“They lay on wooden slats, called cleats,” Barajas said. “Altogether it’s 3 feet wide and 127 feet long. The last guy has a leather harness wrapped around his waist and shoulders. He’s laid back to get traction. Everyone else is laying down. The object is to move the ribbon in the center 3 feet. It can last 5 minutes or it can last 2 hours.”

Sometimes tug o’ war competitors strain so long in the heat they can come down with heat exhaustion or pulled muscles, but event organizers have paramedics and firefighters on hand as a precaution, Barajas said. This year’s tug o’ war competitions are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Saturday for the juniors and 4 p.m. Sunday for the adults.

The 69th Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee is four days and it begins Thursday evening in downtown Tuolumne and continues through Sunday. Hundreds of people attended last year’s Lumber Jubilee, said Anna Barajas, Troy’s wife, who helps coordinate vendors for the event.

Lumber Jubilee events are based on real logger skills, and the earliest events were organized by loggers with generations of experience in felling trees and hauling lumber out of what is today known as the Stanislaus National Forest, Barajas said.

Other events this year include axe-throwing competitions on Friday and Sunday, hot power saw events that allow for saws that run on alcohol or gas with special mufflers and other modifications, stock power saw events, choker setting, crosscut sawing, and Jack & Jill events for couples.

There’s also the Bull of the Woods event, which organizers describe as “two competitors standing toe to toe, duking it out until one of them is knocked off the log on which they are standing.”

The Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee is one of the only shows in the nation that still stages Bull of the Woods events, “and the people of Tuolumne are very proud to continue the tradition,” organizers say on their website.

Barajas has lived in Tuolumne County his whole life, he’s worked for Nate’s Tree Service the past dozen years, and before that he worked as a logger for Otto Skyline all over Tuolumne County.

Admission to the 69th Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee is free. There are fees for entering some competitions and for carnival rides.

For more information visit www.tuolumnerecreation.com/tuolumne_lumber_jubilee.html online.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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