WEBSTER SPRINGS, W.Va. (WBOY) — More than 100 world-class Timber Sport athletes, some from as far as Australia and New Zealand, came out to Webster County for its 58th Annual Woodchopping Festival.

The event in Webster Springs began on Friday, May 26. It includes saw competitions and springboard competitions and of course, woodchopping competitions. The athletes are competing for the title of Southeastern World Champion Woodchopper, as well as more than $30,000 in prize money.

“It is the only time of the year really, everybody gets together and see’s each other, out of town people, you know, and then some of my best friends are competitors,” said Paul Cogar, 2023 Webster County Woodchopping Festival Hall of Fame inductee. “Cousin Arden is the one who founded this and it’s just been good to us.”

The festival also includes car and truck shows, a motorcycle show, the West Virginia State Firemen’s Rodeo Championship, the Grand Feature Parade, Arts and Crafts Shows, and the West Virginia State Turkey Calling Championship, and live music.

“It is probably one of the biggest honors ever, really, to have something like this in this area. And being able to have all the representation of the world that can kind of come here to the heart of Appalachia and even just competing to the best of our abilities for the titles,” said Matt Cogar, Webster County Lumberjack competitor. “I am a seven-time U.S. National Champion with the STIHL Timer Sports, multiple-time world champion, and different world championship events that we had. And a lot of the times we are here at the Webster County Woodchopping Festival where some of those world titles are us for grabs.”

Arden Cogar, Sr. began participating in woodchopping competitions in 1956 and has won 47 championship titles in the United States and Australia. In 1960, the Webster Springs Lions Club sponsored the first woodchopping event at Camp Caesar 4-H Camp. The festival was then moved to Webster Springs for two years before being moved to the Diana area for one year. After that, the festival found moved back, finding its home in Webster Springs where it has remained since and has become known as a world-acclaimed event.

The festival will conclude on Sunday with a Gospel Sing and fireworks display.