In an effort to discourage a log jam of politicians in its upcoming parade, organizers of Stillwater’s Log Jam Festival were charging politicians way more than other groups to participate in the parade – $1,000 to be in the parade if you're a politician, but only $75 for nonprofit groups.
But it turns out that's against the law.
Minnesota state law says, "If a public parade allows candidates, a candidate must be allowed to participate for a fee that is not greater than the amount that is charged to other units participating in the parade."
The Log Jam Festival has since responded, changing its policy to accommodate the law.
"It was brought to our attention yesterday (Monday, July 15, 2014) that our pricing for political parade units does not meet the MN Statute," it said on the Log Jam Festival's Facebook page Tuesday. "While we wish that we had caught this earlier, we were only made aware of the pricing issue yesterday. As soon as we realized our error, we corrected it. Politicians will be charged the same rate as the other participants in the parade,"
Log Jam organizers told the Pioneer Press Tuesday that politicians will now be charged $375 to appear in the parade, which is the same fee charged to "a commercial single unit."
So far, the only politicians to sign up for the parade are members of the DFL Party – Republicans have declined to participate, the newspaper says.
Applications to participate in the parade – which is Sunday at 1 p.m. – are accepted until Thursday at 5 p.m.
Log Jam Festival
This is the first year of the revamped summer festival in Stillwater. The Log Jam Festival replaced the city’s previous celebration, Lumberjack Days, which ended in 2011 due to financial troubles and other issues.
The Locals, a five-person group picked by the city to market the festival, says the festival has been revamped to cater to families and promote the St. Croix Valley's rich logging history.
The festival begins Thursday and goes through Sunday and has events that include lumberjack shows, a pancake breakfast, a soap box derby, concerts and a fishing contest.
The Stillwater Log Jam festival weathered some controversy earlier this year over the event’s name, which some city officials complained had a “sexual connotation.” But city officials ended up withdrawing their request for the name change.