EDITOR’S NOTE: Since the name was announced earlier this week a controversy has arisen. It has been reported that some are concerned that the name “Stillwater Log Jam” could be construed as a vulgar reference and that city officials have requested that festival organizers change the name. Check back for updates.
The 80th anniversary of Stillwater’s first Lumberjack Days will be marked by a new festival, now officially called Stillwater Log Jam.
The Locals, the nonprofit charged with reviving the city’s summer festival, announced the name Jan. 21 at Lift Bridge Brewing Co. in Stillwater.
Although the group pitched the festival to the Stillwater City Council under the Log Jam name, until recently it had been seeking rights to use the festival’s original name, Lumberjack Days.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to reach an agreement,” said Brad Glynn of Lift Bridge, who is one of the five board members of The Locals.
But he said the group is moving forward with planning a festival that will reflect the identity of the community, rather than a generic carnival that could happen anywhere.
“We’re taking some of the old ideas that worked really well and reflect the history of the community, but we’re bringing them into 2014,” he said. “One of the things we’re really excited about bringing back is the Lumberjack show.”
According to board member Erin McQuay, this year’s show will include Jamie Fischer, grandson of Harold Fischer, who performed in the Lumberjack show at the first Lumberjack Days festival in 1934. Harold Fischer and his partner Bob Teske were 14-time trick and fancy log rolling world champions, according to Washington County Historical Society Executive Director Brent Peterson.
Other planned events for this year’s festival include an old time baseball exhibition, a parade, historically guided pontoon rides, a fishing contest and more.
Glynn expects the unique elements will make Log Jam stand out as a community-centered event.
“You’re going to know you’re in Stillwater,” he said. “That’s what this festival should be. It should be a celebration of Stillwater, because we have it all.”
That has been The Locals’ plan from the start.
“Our vision for Log Jam is to go back to the golden years of Lumberjack days, creating a community-focused event,” Glynn told the city council back in November, when The Locals group was awarded the rights to plan the summer festival. In getting city approval, the small nonprofit beat out large event-planning companies, such as Filo Productions and Mid-America Festivals Corp., after receiving an outpouring of support from the community.
The revival of a city festival comes on the heels of two summers without one. Lumberjack Days was discontinued after the original organizer, David Eckberg, was charged with five counts of theft by check and five counts of issuing a dishonored check. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 3.
The new festival is scheduled for July 18-20, and organizers are seeking volunteers and local vendors. Glynn said local vendors will receive preferential rates.
The five board members of The Locals hosted an event at Lift Bridge Brewery Jan. 21 to give potential volunteers and vendors, as well as the general public, an opportunity to meet board members and glimpse their vision. Board members are Cassie McLemore, Erin McQuay, Brad Glynn, Paul Creager and Shawn Smalley.
For more information on The Locals and the planned festival, go to stillwaterlogjam.com.
Contact Jonathan Young at [email protected]