In focus: Sawdust flies during Swiss wrestling at 61st Schwingfest


The Lewis-Pacific Swiss Society hosted the 61st annual Schwingfest in Frances Friday through Sunday.

The three-day event featured Swiss wrestling, or schwingen, a stein-holding competition, a traditional rock throw, dancing, music and more.

The original Swiss Schwingfest started on land donated by Swiss settlers to the area, the Kaech and Huber families. Swiss Park was born on 10 acres of land in the Willapa Hills of Frances, along the banks of the Willapa River.

“Schwingen,” or Swiss wrestling, is a sport originated by cow herders in Switzerland and is a national sport in that country. Wrestlers come to compete at Frances from across the globe, and wear the traditional schwingen wrestling outfit: a belt around their waist and a handkerchief around their knees.

"The Lewis-Pacific Swiss Society is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of providing education and entertainment for its members, based on the Swiss customs and ways; and to develop leadership in its membership and contribute to the progress and welfare of the community," the organization wrote on its website.

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