MONMOUTH — “Go Mom!” yelled William, 9, on the sidelines at the Monmouth Fair during the Woodsman’s Day event his mother, Hanna Severy, participated in. 

Severy is no stranger to Woodsman’s Day, but just three years ago, she was. 

She decided to pick up the sport when her father, Rick Severy, needed a partner three years ago at the Monmouth Fair, and since then she’s won a Women’s All-Around title from the Windsor Fair and travels across New England to compete.  

She was one of seven women who participated in Woodsman’s Day on Saturday. 

“I’m seeing more (women) getting involved as long as there are enough events for women,” she said. “There is more interest the more people talk about it, but there is also the ability to have access to tools.” 

Severy was back at the Monmouth Fair on Saturday to earn herself a new record on Woodsman’s Day, as the fair itself plans to close for the year after a four-day run of records in attendance and participation. 


Saturday morning was still shaping up to match expectations from earlier in the week, when the fair had great weather and high participation in both events and attendance, according to fair officials. 

Phil Butterfield, president of the Monmouth Fair, said Friday night’s attendance made for one of the largest visitor days the fair has seen in years. Butterfield did not have the exact numbers yet on Saturday morning, but said Friday’s weather and hosting the popular local country band 12/OC at the stage helped.  

He described the stage area as a sea of people where it was difficult to move among the crowd that showed up for the Friday night show. 

“The weather has been great all week and we have done a lot to promote (the fair) — we have paid a lot of attention to that, promoting the fair,” he said.  

Butterfield said the horse pull, another Saturday morning event, had a near-record turnout for sign-ups, with about 33 people registered from Canada, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in addition to Mainers from all over the state. 

The numbers were not as promising for Woodsman’s Day sign-ups, officials said, but a gloomy and cold Saturday morning did not help. Around 17 people signed up to participate in the day’s events, which started at 11 a.m.  


Tara Reed tosses a double headed ax towards a target during Woodman’s Day contests Saturday at Monmouth Fairgrounds in Monmouth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Friends Natasha Kosowsky, 28, and Megan Squires, 31, did not travel far to compete in Woodsman’s Day, coming from Monmouth and Newport, respectively, but they do travel across the state with a group of several other friends to compete. 

Both Unity College graduates, they first got involved with the sport there through mutual friends and Squires’ husband, and the pair took off from there. 

Natasha Kosowsky tosses a double-headed ax toward a target during Woodman’s Day contests Saturday at Monmouth Fairgrounds in Monmouth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I love the camaraderie of it all,” said Kosowsky. 

Other fairs in the Maine Agricultural Association that have Woodsman’s Days include the Oxford Fair, the Windsor Fair and the Fryeburg Fair, which Severy said attracts a large turnout and people from New York, Pennsylvania and Canada. 

Last year, the Fryeburg Fair had around 20 women participate in Woodsman’s Day. 

Severy said to encourage more women to join the sport, she urges competitions to have a women’s division so they do not have to compete against men. 

“It takes away the drive to compete,” she said. 

Since she started the sport three years ago, Severy joined the Axe Women Loggers of Maine, a group where she is one of about 36 women across the state involved with the sport. Together, they practice, play and travel across the United States for competitions. 

“I would encourage people to try anything once. What’s the worst that could happen — you chop off a toe,” she joked. 

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