HOMEWORTH – Got an ax to tune?
Maybe Traci and Scott Finnegin can help.
The Homeworth couple run a mobile ax throwing business that brings the activity popular at fairs, festivals, parties and corporate events in Alliance and surrounding areas for ages 18 and up.
After:Find your core target at the Cantonese All American Ax Throwing
They discovered ax throwing a few summers ago when they were in Genève-sur-le-Lac. They saw an ax throwing place and decided to try it out for themselves. The Finnegins found the experience exciting.
“After throwing an ax I felt so powerful,” said Traci Finnegin. “It’s just one of those things that you see the action and think it’s a little scary, but when you hit that target it’s like, ‘Holy cow, I can do it. “”
Seeing how much they enjoyed the experience, the couple decided to research ax throwing. Traci Finnegin, 56, works as an education coordinator at Mount Union University. She spoke to professors at the School of Business for advice and feedback. Then retired 51-year-old Scott Finnegin turned their old backyard camper van into Grab That Ax’s first trailer, a project that took about six months to complete.
“He took it apart and he built our trailer himself. We tried to recycle and use the junkyard waste as much as possible,” said Traci Finnegin.
This is the second year in business for Grab That Ax
The Finnegins started their business in 2020. The pandemic made it difficult because they couldn’t take their trailer to community events or festivals, but they took it to many backyard parties.
The concept is simple: participants get on the closed trailer and throw their axes in one of the two throwing lanes, aiming at the targets at the end.
“(The response) has been so much better than I ever thought it would be,” said Traci Finnegin. “We have organized a lot more corporate events this year, which makes sense as many restrictions have been lifted.”
To accommodate the growth, Scott Finnegin built a second trailer last winter. With many festivals and activities returning this year, Grab That Ax has made appearances at several events in the area, including the Salem Super Cruise and the North Canton Jaycee Fair.
Trailer mobility helps Grab That Ax reach a wide range of customers as they can bring them to other businesses for team building exercises and customer appreciation events, Finnegin said. The company serves a radius of approximately 50 miles around Alliance.
One of the company’s most frequent customers is Don Paynter of Tipsy Farmer Winery in Hanoverton. Paynter found out about Grab That Ax via social media and thought it would be an unusual experience for their clients. He offered three times to throw axes at the cellar and said it had proven popular.
“Everyone is excited about it, and it’s really fun to do,” he said.
In recent years, ax throwing has grown in popularity in the United States, with sites opening in many major cities. Paynter believes customers appreciate the business because it’s something new and different.
“(The Finnegins) are very good at what they do. They interact with people who do it really well. It’s not just about standing in line and getting on and throwing and then you’re done. interact with you all the time, ”Paynter said.
Traci Finnegin said there has been a lot of buzz around ax throwing recently, especially in sports media. The World Ax Throwing League was founded in 2017.
She attributes its popularity to its simplicity and low cost, as well as the fact that it can be both competitive and relaxing. Plus, she said a lot of people like it because anyone can do it.
“We were at Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron two weeks ago, and we had a 73-year-old woman on our trailer. And on her first five throws, she had two favorites,” said Traci Finnegin.
While the concept can be scary for some, Traci Finnegin said it doesn’t require advanced skills.
“A lot of people when they first see us are a little intimidated and scared to try,” she said. “But it seems like once they get over that initial fear, it’s something that anyone (can do). You don’t have to be an athlete to be good at it.”
Grab That Ax will be at the Historic Main Street Festival in downtown Alliance, which runs from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Additionally, the company will be at Aeonian Brewing at Alliance from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 30.
Rental fees vary depending on the event. For more information, contact Grab That Ax on Facebook or by email at [email protected]
Contact Paige at 330-580-8577 or [email protected]
On Twitter: @paigembenn
Main Street Historical Festival Details
Downtown Alliance will be in the spotlight on Saturday as a three-year festival unfolds.
The Historic Main Street Festival will run from 1:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at various locations throughout the downtown core and will include a variety of entertainment.
During the event, visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of downtown Alliance Area Preservation Society and Alliance Historical Society.
There will be kids’ crafts and games, including Grab that Ax, and the event will feature Professor Culpepper’s Steampunk Garden science van.
The entertainment will take place on two stages: the Kempthorn outdoor stage and the new Pocket Change stage.
Food and drink will be available for purchase from private company food trucks and sports boosters from local school districts.
Works of art will be on display, along with wares from more than 35 vendors across the city’s downtown core.
The newest addition to the downtown historic district, Club 253, is planning an open house during the event, and Grumpy Troll Coffee will be open.
1:00 p.m. – Devin seizes
1:30 p.m. – Blue siren
2:45 p.m. – Random strangers
4 p.m. – These bones
5 p.m. – Naturally blue
6.15 p.m. – Bottle packaging
7:30 p.m. Mellow Villians
9 p.m. – Beginning of the documentary “Empty Canvas: A look at Alliance through the Artists’ Eye”
Pocket change step:
1:00 p.m. – Kalyndra Shafer
3 p.m. – Acoustic duo Goal
4 p.m. – DJ Steve
6.30 p.m. – Color the void