2009-08-15 / News

Lakewood grad brings lumberjack skills to Hartford Fair

By Scott Rawdon

CROTON - He has an ax to grind, but in a good way. Lakewood High School graduate Derek Dusthimer, a member of the Hank Peters Lumberjack Show, wowed a crowd at the Hartford Fair with his ax throwing skills, along with his fellow Hank Peters lumberjacks. Dusthimer won the state ax throwing championship several times and earned the title of world champion ax thrower at a 2007 competition in Webster Springs, West Virginia.

"I've been going to the Paul Bunyan Show my entire life," said Dusthimer, who was inspired to hone his ax throwing skills for the Paul Bunyan lumberjack show, formerly held every year in Nelsonville,. It's now held at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds.

According to its web site, the Hank Peters Lumberjack show is the longest running professional lumberjack show with more than 70 years of experience entertaining crowds in the United States and Canada and is renowned for its entertaining and educational presentation of lumberjack contests and activities.

The Hank Peters show only employs the top lumberjack competitors from around the world who, like Dusthimer, have won numerous state and world championship titles. The five-person show includes chainsaw carving, ax throwing, crosscut sawing, power sawing, wood chopping, logrolling, and canoe jousting. It has appeared at numerous state fairs, county fairs, sport shows, festivals, amusement parks, zoos, and schools.

According to Flying Hawkes Axe Throwing, the sport originated from the old Celtic sport of throwing the battle ax. From ancient times the Celts were using battle axes in the wars against their enemies. As Europeans populated the new world, the battle axes came with them. While built for war, they became the primary tool for home building of log cabins.

The Hartford Fair runs through Aug. 15.

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