2017-09-10 / News


Back To Our Roots • Sept. 15th – 17th Hemlock Sawdust Days festival runs runs Sept. 15-17
By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

HEMLOCK – The Hemlock Sawdust Days Festival offers entertainment and activities for the entire family. This year’s festival runs Friday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 17.

The Hemlock Sawdust Days Festival brings together everything that makes a small-town festival fun. They have great musical entertainment, a large parade, a classic car and tractor show, a flea market and craft show, a quilt show, food and spirits, opportunities to win cool stuff, something really unique like lumberjacks, as well as lumberjills, and so much more. Everyone is encouraged to dress like a lumberjack.

Historic Lumber Era

Hemlock Sawdust Days looks back on the history of the community when it formed in the 1860s as a lumbering town along the plank road that is now Saginaw Street (M-46). The festival pays homage to that history with entertainment and other fun activities.

Kids dress up like lumberjacks to get their photos taken at the 2016 Sawdust Days festival in Hemlock. 
File photos by Jeanne Marcello Kids dress up like lumberjacks to get their photos taken at the 2016 Sawdust Days festival in Hemlock. File photos by Jeanne Marcello The Great Lakes Lumberjack Show demonstrates live-action lumberjack skills. Festival goers enjoy demonstrations such as axe throwing, log rolling in water, a crosscut saw race along with their humorous entertainment antics. Two different shows run each day Saturday and Sunday. Be prepared for some new features at this year’s show.

The Castle Museum’s History on the Move trailer will also be set up at Richland Township Park both Saturday and Sunday. The Hemlock Historical Museum will also be open for visitors on Saturday.


Throughout the weekend, the Maple Grille Entertainment Tent keeps the toe tapping going with a great variety of musical entertainment daily. Tweed and Dixie perform Friday night. Saturday’s entertainers feature the Valley Rhythm Cloggers, Hemlock’s Got Talent, Cornpone, The Sinclairs, and The Rock Show, back by popular demand.

The Great Lakes Lumberjack Show entertains the crowd at the 2016 Hemlock Sawdust Days Festival. The Great Lakes Lumberjack Show entertains the crowd at the 2016 Hemlock Sawdust Days Festival. Sunday’s entertainment starts with musical performances during the community church service, followed by acoustic guitar music performed by Melissa May and Brian Coonan.

Food and Craft Vendors

Food, crafts and other vendors set up among the trees in Richland Township Park. Michigan artists will be there to sell a wide range of handcrafted items, quality products and lots of food.

Games and Prizes

New this year, the Lumberjack Beard Contest features a Lumberjill Braid Contest. Prizes will be awarded for the best lumberjack beard, the trendiest beard and best lumberjill braid.

The Baby Picture Contest will be held Saturday near the information booth. Festival goers can vote for the baby of their choice by dropping coins in the child’s picture cup.

Hemlock Sawdust Days offers many opportunities to win prizes. On Saturday, there’s a cake walk in the kids’ tent. A cornhole tournament will be held at the park on Sunday. On Saturday, Sept. 16, stop by the Chinese Auction for raffle tickets to win cool prizes. The Chinese Auction and several other games support Sawdust Days, scholarships and various community projects.

Children and Teen Activities

There are lots of activities and games for children at Sawdust Days both Saturday and Sunday. Kids’s activities include the trout pond, petting zoo, pony rides, bubble games, kids’ games, bounce houses and the new Sawdust Penny Hunt run both days.

On Sunday, there are two new events for children; Touch-a-Truck with local fire and police, the Kids Pedal Pull and even Trunk-or-Treat in the parking lot at the park. Plus, one lucky kid will win in the bicycle drawing inside the entertainment tent.

Parents with young children will find a quiet retreat in the comfort baby station, which is a new feature this year.

Teens have their own event at the Glow Party Saturday night from 6 to 10 p.m. Pizza and pop are available at the dance.

Around Town

Most of the festival activities take place in Richland Township Park on North Hemlock Road, across from the high school. Several activities are held outside the park, including the Sawdust Days Breakfast on Saturday morning at Hemlock United Methodist Church, the Quilt Show at Hemlock High School. The Sawdust Days Parade wraps around town from Hemlock Middle School south on Maple Street, west on Wilson, south on Cherry, east on Saginaw Street (M-46), then north on North Elm Street, east on Wilson and finally north on North Pine Street.


(Main events held at Richland Township Park)

6pm-Midnight Maple Grille Entertainment Tent
8pm-Midnight Tweed & Dixie

7-10am Sawdust Days Breakfast at
Hemlock United Methodist Church
10am Sawdust Days Parade, Downtown
10am-3pm Historical Building Open
Classic Car & Tractor Show
Noon-4pm Baby Picture Contest
Noon HHS Band
Noon-5pm Quilt Show at HHS
Noon-6pm Fun at the Park:
Sawdust Penny Hunt, Bingo, Petting
Zoo, Trout Pond, Demonstrations,
Castle Museum, Inflatables & Kids
Games, Farmer’s Market & Crafters/
Vendors, Tri-City Bubble & More!
Noon-Midnight Maple Grille Entertainment Tent
12:30pm Doubles Horse Shoe
Registration & Tournament
12:30pm Hemlock’s Got Talent
1pm Valley Rhythm Cloggers
1-6pm Cake Walk
(every 30 mins. while cakes last)
1:30pm Beard & Braids Contest

1:30pm Great Lakes Lumberjack Show
2-4pm Cornpone
3:30pm Great Lakes Lumberjack Show
5-7pm The Sinclairs Band
6-10pm Teen Dance: Glow Party
8pm-Midnight The Rock Show

10am Church in the Park - Entertainment
10am-3pm Maple Grille Entertainment Tent
11am-3pm Fun at the Park:
Sawdust Penny Hunt, Touch A
Truck, Crafters/Vendors, Petting Zoo,
Trout Pond, Castle Museum, Tri-City
Bubble, Kids Games, Bingo
11:30am Great Lakes Lumberjack Show
Kids Pedal Pull
Noon-2pm Trunk or Treat
Noon-3pm Melissa May & Brian Coonan
1pm Cornhole Tournament Registration
1:30pm Great Lakes Lumberjack Show
2pm Kids Bike Drawing - Entertainment
After 7pm must be 21 or older to enter Entertainment Tent

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