OVERHEAD

An overhead view of the Paul Bunyan Days festival reveals a myriad of festivities to participate in and enjoy. From the ground, visitors could enjoy watching chainsaw carvers, riding carnival rides, purchasing vendor items and participating in chamber activities all weekend long.

OSCODA – It was a spectrum of weather conditions from bright and sunny to cloudy and rainy, but that didn’t keep the crowd of over 2,000 visitors away from Paul Bunyan Days this weekend on Furtaw Field in downtown Oscoda.

Visitors enjoyed vendor shopping, fair foods, a variety of competitions, chain saw carving, ax throwing, face painting, the annual Oscoda Lions Club raffle, a saw dust coin dig, a pie eating contest and even more.

With an opportunity to participate and enjoy so many different competitions there were quite a few winners that went home with worthwhile prizes. An annual event that continues year after year that ran throughout the weekend was the chain saw carving competition featuring six carvers this year.

Carvers included Matayo Montoya, Mike Swagart, Sam Dougherty, Gerald Ireland, Jeff Deming and Alonzo Montoya. Each carver participated in a three hour quick carve on Friday afternoon as well as, an all day carving competition on Saturday into Sunday.

They completed their pieces including carving, burning and painting at 1 p.m. on Sunday. First place was awarded to Alonzo who received a $600 prize and created a life-size black bear standing up. Second place was given to Matayo after creating a bench with bears carved on either side. Third place was awarded to Deming for his creation of three owls with one resting on a branch and two others peeking outside a tree. Deming received a $400 prize.

Fourth and fifth place was tied, according to judges. Two carvers including Dougherty and Swagart received $250 in prize money. Dougherty carved a bear holding up the upper peninsula and Swagart created a bench with two cardinals resting on a large tree branch on the end. The final place was taken by Ireland, a first time carver at the competition competing in honor of his father who previously competed.

Competitions continued with the winners from the Lumberjack Look Alike competition. Winners included brothers Nolan and Nathan Clark. Each brother received a $25 prize splitting the $50 prize money. Additionally, Benjamin Stemkowski was awarded best beard and received a gift basket including a camouflaged Yeti cup, according to Oscoda-AuSable Chamber of Commerce (OACC) board members.

The winning continued when the lions club announced their five lucky $1,000 winners. Winners ranged from locals to visitors in the area including Rose Fulton, George Downey, Joni Green, Vivian Avery and Stacie Hewitt.

Throughout the three day event there was also a corn hole competition, with 11 teams competing their could only be two winners. A pair each named Chris received the $500 cash prize which was awarded to them by the OACC with the event sponsored by the Oscoda Convention and Visitors Bureau. (CVB)

On Sunday afternoon, the 2019 Paul Bunyan Burger contest winner was announced and included first time winner Desi’s Taco Lounge. Desi’s received 374 votes in favor of their quesadilla burger including tortillas, Canadian bacon, a burger, cheddar jack cheese and guacamole on the side.

Second place was awarded to former 2016 and 2018 winner, the Hilltop Bar and Grill with 220 votes. Third place went to The Office Lounge and Grill with 76 votes. First time competitor in the competition Wiltse’s Family Restaurant & Brew Pub received fourth place and collected 28 votes. According to the OACC, G’s Pizzeria did not compete in the competition. Additionally, board members pulled Katie Anderson as the winner of a gift certificate to Desi’s Taco Lounge.

For more information about Paul Bunyan Days and future events  contact OACC staff at 739-7322.