Missouri’s filled with summer festivals—celebrating everything from music to mushrooms. But we’ve got a festival you probably haven’t encountered before. This one celebrates a versatile,  natural material with all kinds of different uses.

By Peg Cameron Gill

The 2023 Sawfest Festival in King City is a tribute to timber. That’s right. It celebrates the wonderful world of wood and its byproducts such as sawdust. 

Founded by Millers Rustic Sawmill, this is the festival’s second year. Legions of log lovers will gather for games, woodworking demos, and more.

Slab sale shopping will begin at 8 AM and run all day. Browse beautiful wood slabs of all shapes and sizes and find the perfect pick for a dining or coffee table, desk, or other uses.

Enjoy guest demonstrators from Missouri and other states from  8AM –4 PM. They’ll share skills such as knife making, chainsaw carving, scrollsaw art, woodburning, pen turning, and live edge slab painting. There will even be a guest luthier—someone who crafts stringed wooden instruments like banjos, ukuleles, mandolins, and the like. This particular luthier, Kelly Stillfield of Maysfield, Mo., has crafted instruments out of a Tasmanian silver wattle tree slab, as well as another native Tasmanian tree, King Billy pine.

Photo credit: Millers Rustic Sawmill Sawdust Festival

At 12:45 PM join other attendees and head over to Millers Rustic Sawmill itself for a demonstration. The on-foot caravan will  leave from Main Street and travel ¼ mile on a gravel road, so be sure to wear comfy shoes suitable for uneven ground.

There will also be entertaining sawdust festival games to watch or take part in from 10 AM–4 PM. Test your wood chucking and log rolling skills, and more. (“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”)

At 4 PM, you can watch an unusual race—with belt sanders! See who leaves the other competitors in the (saw)dust. 

Photo credit: Millers Rustic Sawmill Sawdust Festival

The local senior center will be hosting food from 12-5 PM to benefit the local food pantry, and the local coffee shop will have cold drinks available—not only coffee but other beverages as well. There will also be whiskey tastings available in the Rusty Hole curated liquor shop.

You’re not likely to be “board” at this unique event. So why not check out the King City Sawdust Festival June 17? Sounds like it sure “wood” be fun.

About Millers Rustic Sawmill: This family owned and operated sawmill prides itself on the fact that a handshake still means something in this day and age. The family runs the saw every day to make a living. Their team works hard to produce high quality, properly kiln dried live edge slabs and natural, unique wood pieces. They offer custom services such as mill work, wood walls, timber-to-table projects, and more.

To read an inspiring story about a Springfield woodworking business, click here

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