Log Jam to replace Stillwater's axed Lumberjack Days


The Stillwater City Council gave the go-ahead Thursday for a local nonprofit group to plan a summer festival that replaces Lumberjack Days, which was canceled indefinitely last year.

In a 4-1 vote, the council selected The Locals out of four candidates to put on the Stillwater Log Jam, the Stillwater Gazette reported.

The other contenders were Filo Productions, Genius of Fun Events and Mid-America Festivals Corp.

KSTP says The Locals were awarded a 1-year contract with the opportunity for an extension if the event meets expectations.

The nonprofit's board of directors includes residents and small business owners like Brad Glynn who created Lift Bridge Brewery.

“We know we’re a riskier choice than the other groups,” Glynn said. “We’re working on getting sponsorships from businesses and grants and we’ve been extremely encouraged by the outpouring of support that we’ve gotten from the businesses and the people in the community.”

During its presentation to the city last month, The Locals highlighted event features like a soap box derby, lumberjack demonstrations, the Miss Stillwater Pageant, water ski shows and dragon boat races.

The event held the third weekend in July would continue the tradition of a parade, fireworks display and music acts such as The Suburbs and The Replacements.

The last Lumberjack Days were held in July 2011, KARE 11 said.

The city discontinued the event in 2012 due to unpaid bills, pending litigation and public disapproval. Organizer Dave Eckberg currently faces criminal charges related to theft and fraud. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 3, according to the Pioneer Press.

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City Administrator Larry Hansen was the first to propose ending the summer festival because of the financial and legal problems now associated with it. Hansen told the Star Tribune he would be surprised if the City Council didn't cancel the contract. Members are expected to discuss it Tuesday.

Stillwater mayor: 'Lumberjack Days is dead'

The Star Tribune reports city leaders voted Tuesday night to ax the popular summer festival, which has drawn serious criticism recently over unpaid bills and rowdy drunken crowds.

More time needed in Stillwater Lumberjack Days investigation

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told the Pioneer Press his office is still reviewing evidence in the case involving former Stillwater Lumberjack Days organizer Dave Eckberg. The newspaper writes it could take another month before a charging decision is made. Last month, Eckberg and his wife filed for personal bankruptcy. Court documents show the couple owes a list of more than 100 creditors nearly $2.4 million.

Stillwater suspends Lumberjack Days, fireworks amid criminal investigation

The future of the city's two biggest summer festivals is in question after the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to suspend the events. Investigators are looking into a batch of bad checks allegedly penned by festival organizers.