Zwolle Loggers Festival

Second Weekend in May

Poster from the first Loggers asnd Forestry Festival - 1995
Poster from the first Loggers and Forestry Festival - 1995


Zwolle's Logger Festival is held the second weekend of May to pay tribute to all the logging and forestry families and industries in the town and parish.

The success of the Tamale Fiesta in bringing people together and bringing tourists to the town encouraged Mayor Woods and his wife, Shirley, to begin another community celebration, the Zwolle Loggers & Forestry Festival. The first festival was held in 1995. The Festival includes a Blessing of the Fleet (logging trucks), parade, logging activities and contests, beauty pageants, music, food booths, arts and crafts, forestry exhibits.

Each year, the Zwolle Loggers Festival honors the oldest still active logger. The 1998 honoree was 82 year old Henry Remedies. Henry is still eating biscuits made each morning by his wife of 60 years. They have four daughters and dozens of grand kids.

In the 1998 hunting season, Henry found a beech tree where in 1934 he had carved his name and the date. To celebrate his return to the same location 64 years later, he again carved his name on the old beech tree, this time with a 1998 date.

 

Remedies, with a remarkable memory, recalls working for 50 cents a day and $3.00 a week. He remembers most of the major timber tracts he has cut in his lifetime. Probably less than his favorite memory but one he recalls vividly, is driving the "Sun Bus." There were 24 men each morning on the bus. Upon reaching the woods, they divided into 12 two man teams, one for each end of a crosscut saw.

The organizers of Zwolle Loggers Festival philosophy is simply that a lot of lives are touched every day by trees. "We need to stop at least one weekend a year and salute the loggers and forestry industry", Mattie Sepulvado says.

Schedule:

  • Friday Evening: Street dance
  • Saturday: Morning ceremonies; loggers' parade; saw, loader, and logging competitions; children's events; arts and crafts; lots of food
  • Sunday: final clean up; closure of events

The festival also includes a ball with ticket sales to anyone wanting to attend and a separate event including selection of the Queen for each year.

Source: various materials including an article by James Ronals Skains, 1998

For more info - http://www.zwollela.net/loggers.asp

~ Click any image below for an enlargement ~
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The midway (above) features many vendors - lots of great food, arts and crafts, flowers, and various souvenir items. The covered pavilion provides a great rest spot with ample seating and tables and houses the "street dance" at night. Virtually continuous musical entertainment is provided here, too.

Of course you will find log trucks and logging equipment (below) and even a chance to guess the weight of a load of logs for a prize.

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Zwolle Loggers Festival Skidder Contest
Pick up log - Skid to new location, Drop, Pick up different log, Skid to beginning location, Drop. Contest is judged on elapsed time plus penalties for knocking over cones on course.
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Zwolle Loggers Festival Zwolle Loggers Festival

Sawing Contest (left): Contestants make two cuts - bottom to top and top to bottom and compete on elapsed time.

Loading Contest (below): Pick up each of blocks on one side, swing to other side and place in colored circles. Contest is scored on elapsed time and penalties are assessed for being outside circle or blocks that fall over.

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