Those looking to try old-time logging sports are invited to the Farthest North Forest Sports Festival on Saturday at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. UAF students and faculty members developed the competition in 1998 as a way to commemorate old-time logging festivals.

Beginners are welcome to this free event, where participants over 18 may compete in ax throwing, pulp tossing, log rolling, bow and crosscut sawing, fire building and birling. Birling involves balancing on a floating log in Ballaine Lake and trying to stay upright longer than another competitor. Awards will be presented to top competitors and attendees may compete as individuals but are encouraged to form teams of four to six.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm fields, across from the Georgeson Botanical Garden. At 1 p.m., the games move to Ballaine Lake. Refreshments will be available and donations are welcome. A warming fire and some grilled food will be available at the lake. Participants are advised to dress warmly and to bring a change of clothes if they want to try birling. Sponsors include UAF’s Natural Resources and Environment program, the UAF Resource Management Society and Fairbanks Stump Grinders.

For more information or to volunteer at the event, contact Dave Valentine at 907-474-7614 or

 Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.