Firemen's Field Days welcomes strong competitors

By Michelle Costanza

July 26, 2013 Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 9:53 AM EST

Hancock, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A longstanding tradition continues this weekend as lumberjacks from around the region prepare for tough competition at this year's Firemen's Field Days.

The volunteer fire department has been holding the event since the 1950's, but the lumberjack competition is the real talk of the town.

This component of the weekend that was added just last year, and immediately became a hit. Organizers are expecting the events to draw hundreds of spectators.

Lumberjacks -- and Jills -- will be competing in more than 10 different events to test their balance, strength and skill on Saturday afternoon.

"One of the competitions is the spring board, where you have to chop your way up the pole; you stick a board in and you climb onto that and then you chop your way up to the next level, stick the board in, keep working your way up to the top," said Hancock Fire Lt. Jay Smith.

Some of the other events include the axe throw, log roll, crosscut, hot saw and pole fell.

Competitors will take part in the challenges at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a second round of the events at 4 p.m. the same day.

In addition to the entertainment and popular fair food favorites, the Hancock Fire Department Ladies' Auxiliary took to the kitchen to prepare plenty of treats to keep the competition sweet.

The Field Days continue Friday and Saturday evenings, with a large fireworks display beginning at dusk Friday. Following the lumberjack games, the weekend will commence Saturday evening with a parade that runs from Hancock High School to Fireman's Park.

Admission to the weekend is free, though donations are welcome. All proceeds from the event go to the fire department for maintenance and upkeep of fire equipment.