MAY 25TH - 28TH, 2017


 Home to the Southeastern US World Championship

Memorial Day Weekend
Baker's Island Recreation Area
Webster Springs, WV






Admission Friday, Saturday & Sunday

$5.00 per person

9 years old and under free


Webster County-The toughest of people

In late June of 2016, West Virginia was hit with torrential rains that resulted in horrific flooding across the state.  Thousands of people were driven from their flooded homes and businesses, and many were unable to return because of the extensive damage. 

The healing began immediately for some, but for others their lives would be changed forever.  We are thankful to the hundreds of volunteers that donated time, those that donated millions of dollar, and those that donated needed items, to make those affected more comfortable. 

With the first glances at our Bakers Island Recreation area after the flood, it appeared that it might be nearly impossible to fix what had been destroyed or to replace the many things that were washed away.  The mighty Elk River overran its banks, washing away the majority of the picnic tables, bleachers, garbage cans, canopies, fencing, equipment, and did a million dollars in damage to the swimming pool.  Also lost was the walk bridge that allows pedestrians access to the recreation area from the Hotel Bottom side of town.  The road that goes around the pool, where many people walked and woodchoppers from around the world camped, was destroyed for several hundred feet.

As the mayor and his city council assessed the damage, it appeared to many that Bakers Island might not be repairable.  But, through the vision of Mayor Don E. McCourt and his council, work started immediately to repair and rebuild the area.  The mayor, members of his council, city workers, pool employees, and many local volunteers, rolled their sleeves up and began the task of making the island great again. 

The group of workers cleared brush, shoveled sand and mud, and started the task of cleaning the devastated area.  Loaders loaded the many feet of dirt, sand, and debris that had been deposited everywhere by the flood waters.  The pool was pumped and shoveled out, as well as, an excavator being brought in to help with big rocks and debris removal. 

In a few months, a new perspective could be seen by many people.  We are going to get our recreation area back! And to the many Woodchopping Festival volunteers, it appeared we would have a festival in 2017. 

Fast forward eight months: Bakers Island is almost ready for business.  The grass has grown back, there is new fence, picnic tables, and a new road has been rebuilt around the pool, riverbanks secured, new bleachers installed, and more.  New construction has been completed on two concession stands, and the chopping areas have been cleaned and are ready. A new walk bridge will be constructed either in the spring or early summer and the pool still has some plumbing issues that will be addressed before its May opening.

With all this said, we have our beautiful Bakers Island back and look forward to hosting the 2017 Southeastern World Championship Woodchopping Festival in May.  We have a proud mayor and council that have worked tirelessly to accomplish what many thought was impossible.  But, with their vision, the hard work of hundreds of people, and the donations of many individuals and businesses, one of the best parks in West Virginia will soon be open for business.  See you on Memorial Day weekend.


Bakers Island June, 23rd, 2016

Miss Wood Chopper 2017 will be crowned May 20th, 2017

Pageant will begin at 7p.m. @ WSES

Miss Woodchopper Pageant Application

 Applications are due by

May 12th, 2017


Miss Woodchopper 2016- Katie Lowther

Jr. Miss Woodchopper 2016-Rosie Wright

Miss Woodchip 2016-Maddison Pauley


Since 1960, each Memorial Day weekend, the "Southeastern US World Championship Woodchopper" title is won at the annual Webster County Woodchopping Festival in Webster Spring, West Virginia.

This festival is a natural outgrowth of Webster County's timbering heritage.  The sport of Wood Chopping, was born in the mountain logging camps as young men sought to entertain themselves showing off their skill and endurance.

All-Around Champion Arden Cogar, Sr., a native of Webster County is one of the many local legends who has helped build the festival.  He began competing in 1956 and has since won 47 championship titles in the US and Australia.

With more than $30,000 in prize money up for grabs, choppers come form as near as the scenic mountains of West Virginia and as far away as New Zealand.  Their skills are put to the test in a variety of events including the Springboard, Jack & Jill Crosscut, Axe Throw, Standing Block, Hot Saw, and much more.

So come out and join us, pick out your favorite lumber jack or lumber jill and cheer them on.

Firemans Rodeo -

To kick off the festival on Friday night, the West Virginia State Championship Firemen's Rodeo is held.  Fire departments from all over the state complete in such events as the bucket brigade and Firemen's Challenge.  Trophies are awarded to both individuals and team winners.  A Firemen's Challenge is an event that tests the actual fire-fighting skills in a race against others and the clock.

The Webster County Woodchopping Festival Committee would like to thank the following sponsors for their long years of support and in helping make this year as successful as the last:  John Skidmore Development, Inc., Jim C. Hamer Company, Columbia Forest Products, Highlander Pharmacy, Mike Ross, Inc., Bryan Equipment, Ace Hardware & G&R, IGA Supermarket; Leslie Equipment Company, Cogar Enterprises, Pardee & Curtin, Stihl, North Side Automotives, United Bank, Cogar Right of Way Clearning, LLC, Go-Mart, Inc, Weyerhaeuser, Webster County Memorial Hospital, WEBCO Pharmacy, Beverage Distributors, Webster Echo, First Energy, John Skidmore, WV Water, JS Hydraulic, Warner Law Office, Raven Industries.