Logger Days called a success
By Heidi Desch & Roger Morris, Western News Reporters
Overall, it was great.
Businesses, organizers and the thousands of people attending Loggers Days last weekend in Libby were pleased with the change to the downtown area.
³Everything was hugely successful,² said John Massey, the spokesman for the Kootenai Kiwanis and their organizing committee that adopted the annual Logger Days just five months ago.
³It was successful beyond my highest expectations,² he said. ³We learned a lot. The one thing was most of our mistakes were not that noticeable and didn¹t take away from the experience.²
In recent years, Logger Days has been held at J. Neils Memorial County Park north of town. While the park provided sprawling space for the event, the crowds dwindled every year until the organizers, the Libby Area Chamber of Commerce, had to admit it was too much work for them to continue.
Not wanting to see the popular event die after 42 years, the Kiwanis agreed to take on the organizing role. They formed a committee with the help of Jerry Bennett, who has been involved with Logger Days for many years.
And the community responded. Massey said he received many compliments from the public and from the many vendors with booths at the festival site.
³I don¹t think anybody left mad at us,² Massey said. ³And I don¹t think we could have asked for any better effort from our key departments.²
The business community, especially downtown businesses, were happy to see the event returned to the core of the city.
Ed Baker of Ed¹s Threads said it worked out well. He called it ³great² and the ³smartest thing.²
³People stayed downtown after the parade,² he said. ³The move downtown was the best thing they¹ve done in 15-20 years.²
Mary Devlin of Shoes and Socks couldn¹t agree more.
³It was a great weekend,² she said. ³Libby turned out in force. That was the largest turnout I¹d ever seen.²
Gary Livesey at Sears said his business was normal for after a parade. A lot of people came in and looked, which is good, he said.
³I didn¹t lose anything,² Livesey continued. ³We had lots of looks before and after the parade and that¹s normal.²
Mark Epperson of Epperson Mountaineering, located on the lower end of Mineral Avenue, said after parade traffic was not good but h has no complaints because the event was positive.
³I want to see it remain downtown,² Epperson said. ³Logger Days was awesome, the number of people was great but the when the parade as over, the people were out of here. Normally they don¹t do that.²
Massey said the organizing committee had already been working on several ideas for next year. When they start organizing for next year, they will take into consideration things that didn¹t go well along with the comments of the community and keep moving forward, he said.