OSCODA – More than 5,000 visitors came to Furtaw Field over the weekend to honor Oscoda’s own tall tale, Paul Bunyan, during the annual Paul Bunyan Days festival, according to the Oscoda-AuSable Chamber of Commerce
Vendor shopping, competitions and fair food was available to Oscoda residents and visitors during.
This year there were a variety of things to see and do including: a dunk tank, chainsaw carving, face painting, a lumber Jack and Jill look-alike competition, a Paul Bunyan reading from Friends of the Library, drone demonstrations, a saw dust coin dig, a beard competition, raffle drawings, a pie eating contest and more.
With all the opportunities to buy raffle tickets and compete, there were quite a few winners over the weekend.
A large event that ran throughout the weekend was the annual chainsaw carving competition. Carvers included Alonzo Montoya, Matayo Montoya, Sean Bell, Jeff Deming and Mike Swagart.
Each carver began carving the piece they were going to create for the Sunday auction at 9 a.m. on Saturday. They completed their pieces including carving, burning and painting at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
First place went to a first time competitor at Paul Bunyan Days, Deming who received $600. Deming carved a brown chair with a squirrel and woodpecker hanging on the side.
Second place went to Bell who created an intricately designed eagle and received $500. Third place was awarded to Alonzo Montoya for his creation of a standing moose leaning on a piece of wood and $400.
Fourth place was received by Montoya’s son, Matayo who competed for the first time in Paul Bunyan Days and carved a standing bear holding a welcome sign received $300 for fourth place. The final place went to Mike Swagart for his creation of a bear pushing another bear down a slide and received $200 for fifth place.
The judging was done by a panel of three judges with experience in woodcarving or art. The $2,000 prize money was sponsored by the Oscoda Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Alpena Community College also held their own competition for the best Lumber Jack and Jill look alike competition. Lumber Jack was won by Tom Dewey and Lumber Jill was won by Theresa Schulz.
There was also a beard competition. Winners included Mark Miller for length and quality. Second was received by Isaac Boda for grooming, color and overall look. Finally, third place was won by Barry McGough for style and presentation.
Other contest winners included five individuals who walked away with $1,000, thanks to the Oscoda Lions Club raffle. Winners included: Connie Barber, Holli Ruckman, Don Green, Carl Walls and Nate Spaulding. The Lions began selling the tickets back in June at Art on the Beach.
The Oscoda Rotary Club raffled off a girls and boys bike this weekend and began selling tickets on Friday. The two lucky winners were Don Mckay who won the girls bike and Rick who won the boys bike.
A third raffle that took place over the weekend was for the custom made Paul Bunyan Days corn hole set. The winner of the corn hole set was Pam Mallak.
Throughout the weekend there was also a corn hole competition with a $500 prize pool. There were 12 teams that participated, but only three were victorious and received prize money.
First place was won by Ryan Sheldon and Cory Chrivia who receive $300 in prize money. Second place was won by the team of Chris Whitburn and Don Hucul who received $150 in prize money and third place was taken home by Mike Russell and Dave Inman for a total cash money prize value of $50.
On Sunday afternoon, the 2018 burger competition winner was announced and included two time winner the Hilltop Bar and Grill. The Hilltop received 232 votes in favor of the grilled cheese bacon burger with chipotle mayo and a pickle on the side.
The second place spot went to the Office Lounge and Grill with 99 votes. Third place went to Desi’s Taco Lounge with 32 votes. Fourth was won by Mancino’s with 15 votes and the fifth place restaurant was Bavarian Bakery with 13 votes.
Chamber Executive Director Rose Fulton also pulled Ginny McCartty as the winner of a gift certificate to the Hilltop.