The iconic Kawerau Woodfest event is once again gearing up to showcase the town's proud connection to the forestry industry.

This year's event runs from September 22 to October 1 and will offer a fantastic range of activities for all ages.

It kicks off with the Woodbugs Symposium on the circus paddock outside the Ron Hardie Recreation Centre. Inside the centre will be Woodfest's cornerstone event, the National Woodskills Competition, which will showcase carvers and wood-turners from around Australasia.

All the crowd favourites will be back on September 30 and October 1 including the Pacific Toyota Big Dig World Champs, Diddy Dig competition, Ash & Oak Pro Logger races, wood chopping competitions with the Rotorua Axemen and members of the NZ Stihl Timbersports team, market day, craft and food stalls, entertainment and amusements.

Current tree climbing national and three-time world champion Scott Forrest will also be involved. Kawerau-born Forrest was hoping to add another accolade to his belt.

He is one of three sportsmen nominated for the New Zealand Rural Sportsman of the Year award and is the Husqvarna ambassador.

Family-friendly events returning to the schedule include the BMX freestyle show, dog trick show, amazing race, charity truck pull and emergency services demonstration.

This year there's an increase in prizes up for grabs at the Big Dig and Diddy Dig. These competitions are unique to Kawerau and event organisers were hoping to see them grow as the premier features for Woodfest.

Woodfest director Amy Hayes said schools, clubs and businesses from outside the district had shown interest in participating.

"We are keen to accept all applications from those who think they've got what it takes to compete against our Kawerau crews. But people need to get their entries in soon because we have a limited number of team slots."

For more information on Woodfest check out the Facebook page or visit www.kaweraudc.govt.nz/woodfest.

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