Cutting Edge: Grindin’ Axes offers new type of fun for Tri-Cities

Published 5:36 pm Monday, July 16, 2018

A dream of Paul Wingfield and Jason Jones was finally realized Saturday evening.
During the Tree Streets Block Party held at JRH Brewing in Johnson City, the duo unveiled Grindin’ Axes to the public. Over the course of the event, several patrons made their way over to the group to dabble in the art of axe-throwing.
Created this year, Grindin’ Axes is an official member of the World Axe Throwing League and is now offering a portable service across Northeast Tennessee for enthusiasts of the sport.
After seeing the success of the league away from the area, Wingfield said the group knew it was a no-brainer to bring it to the Tri-Cities.
“We’ve seen a bunch of places up in Canada and other places in the North doing this so we thought it could be something that the Tri-Cities needs to do,” Wingfield said. “Since we’re just now starting out, we decided to get some chain link fence, make a mobile enclosure and travel around to different places and partner with different businesses in the area.”
Following up the laughter, occasional posts on social media and cheers from spectators watching in anticipation of each throw at JRH, it was safe to say patrons had an “axe-citing” time for the debut of a new activity for the Tri-Cities. Attendees at the block party spoke about the importance of having something new in the area. The closest axe-throwing events in the state are often based in the Nashville area.
“Today is really our first gig as far as it goes partnering with a brewery,” Wingfield said. “We’re here and we’ll be in Kingsport in August. We’re also going to be at Skillville in Johnson City to do a live demonstration July 28. That’ll be done as a way to help the business get air conditioning in their building. We’re just hoping this event can turn into a weekly basis, kind of like the local food truck scene. Go to JRH on a Thursday, maybe Kingsport on a Friday and Elizabethton on the weekend … we’re just wanting to build up the following so we can offer this all across the Tri-Cities.”
Wingfield added the goal of the business is to encourage people to visit different events going on across Northeast Tennessee and assist in the tourism economy for the area.
“All of the downtowns in the areas are really trying to focus on their downtowns it seems,” Wingfield said. “Johnson City has been doing it for awhile now. Kingsport is starting to do it and Elizabethton is another great place that can really get its nightlife going to bring in more people.”
Wingfield works out of Elizabethton and has been keeping an eye on the tourism and outdoor economy of the region. Wingfield is also a member of the Elizabethton IDEAS Group and said one goal is to have a bigger presence in Elizabethton and Carter County to encourage more people to attend different events in the community.
“Another passion of mine is the outdoors, so the outdoor tourism aspect is really exciting for Elizabethton and Carter County,” he said. “They are talking about the play park that could possibly be coming to the Watauga River. That, with all the different things going on, could really attract the outdoorsy people to Elizabethton and Carter County. If we can help build up the downtown area with different shops, restaurants and activities, it can only be a benefit for everyone. We could set up near one of the parks or near the river.”
Participants must be 18 years or older and must sign a waiver before participating in a game. During each event, staff works alongside a thrower and participants are able to pay for a certain amount of time per session and even compete in games.
The business is currently taking bookings for the coming months. To learn more, visit, visit their Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts or call (423) 812-0080.

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