By Bob Hamill
I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I went to Lumberjack Feud, but it was more than I imagined. The building is deceptive from the outside. It looks like an average size barn, but when one enters the arena, it’s 34,000 sq. ft. of fun.
“Cookie,” portrayed by Tyler Mercereau, did a marvelous job keeping the audience entertained with his antics. He was a staple for humor the rest of the night.
Patrons have a choice of eating dinner or just seeing the show (a full concession is available if one is not ordering dinner). I’m usually not a fan of dinner theater food, even less when it is served. This was not the case at Lumberjack. The meal was served in a lidded stainless steel hinged mess kit. I thought this was a nice touch and keeping with Lumberjack’s theme. Inside the mess kit one will find a slice of turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls and butter. All were tasty and hot. I really liked the mess kit touch.
So many times a server forgets what you’re drinking. At Feud, they have come up with a solution. There’s a dry erase board in front of you and servers use initials to get the beverages right.
The people at Lumberjack Feud consider their show a sporting event. Before anything gets started there is a salute to the veterans and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I go to baseball games early just so I don’t miss hearing the national anthem. I think if there is ever a chance to show love of this country, you should take advantage of it. It just so happened that our server, Savannah, was picked to sing it a cappella and did a fabulous job.
Most pre-shows are a fancy way of selling product. This is also true of Lumberjack; but it’s not a hard sell. Last May the Feud added Mountain Jacks, a fantastic bluegrass group. Not only are they great musicians, but they relate to the audience. Their songs and comedy antics are just right as a warm up for the show.
It’s a competition show, much like Hatfield & McCoy and North or South at Dixie Stampede. A big difference is that in each of the 16 events, the winner awards an audience member (always a kid) a cookie, but not a real cookie. It’s a circular piece of wood cut off the end of a tree. The kids go crazy trying to get a cookie. By the end of the night even I wanted a cookie. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get one, as they are for sale after the show.
As far as the show goes, I was very impressed. There was comedy, clogging (which was excellent), trained dogs, ax throwing, tree climbing, chainsaw events with both men and ladies and a log rolling competition. There was not a minute wasted.
When my family comes back in town, this is a show they will not miss.