The Voyageur Games have been a part of Festival du Voyageur for 38 years.
They started outdoors at Whittier Park for the first six years, then moved indoors to Le Rendezvous for a few years until they moved into the Club St. B.
The leg wrestling, voyageur wrestling, pillow fight, tug of war and log sawing are still some of the competitions featured in the Games.
“The axe throw was dropped when the Games were moved indoors and the arm wrestling was stopped after too many broken wrists and hands,” long time event co-ordinator Daniel told me on Thursday, the last night of the games, that started on Monday. The event has many local businesses (32 on this day) sponsoring the participants.
The evening started off with leg wrestling. The two competitors lay side by side on the ground with heads beside each others feet. They then locked one leg and tried to knock their opponent over.
Next up was voyageur wrestling. This match involved both combatants facing each other, grabbing one hand as if in a hand shake, then trying to make their adversary lose their balance. Once your foot lifted off the ground, you lost.
Then came the pillow fight with the massive pillows (actually large canvas bags with stuffing) which were used to try to knock the opponent off of a 6″ x 6″ beam; another balancing act.
Second last event was the tug of war in which the players stood on barrels about 15 feet apart from each other holding a rope. The object of this game was to either pull your opponent off the barrel or to pull the rope out of their hands.
Last up was the log sawing competition. The rivals faced off with each other and sawed through a 4″ x 4″ log. The average time seemed to be about 5 seconds as the saw dust was flying.
There was a short break between events for the judges to tally up scores and to set up for the next event. Each tournament between participants was best two out of three.
The competition was fierce, but all participants, as well as the audience, seemed to be enjoying themselves.
The finals to the Voyageur Games were held on Saturday, February 22 at 1 pm at Club St. B.
All photos by Doug Kretchmer