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Celebrating local logging heritage

| June 22, 2007 12:00 AM

The 49th consecutive Libby Logger Days began on Thursday, June 21 this year.

The first day of summer was warm enough for the water fights and the weatherman promises a nice weekend.

Junior Crismore, this year's Grand Marshall, will ride in his dad Bill's convertible in the parade on Saturday. He has been a part of Logger Days since he could walk and will be named Honored Logger during the Bull and Bullettes of the Woods awards Friday evening. Junior will also be competing in the events again this year.

The Kootenai Kiwanis took over the event from the Libby Chamber of Commerce four years ago. But Libby Logger Days has existed since the late 1950's when the then existing Junior Chamber of Commerce initiated the celebration in the heart of logging country.

Although changes have occurred in the logging industry, as well as Libby Logger Days, the event still attracts a crowd every year. In the past Logger Days was held at J. Neil Park but since it moved to the Memorial Center area attendance has grown.

Pam Peppenger, in charge of the parade, said this year the parade will be a little smaller because this is not an election year, but she expects a huge parade next year because not only will 2008 be the 50th anniversary of Logger Days, it will also be a general election year. Peppenger also hopes all the parade queens from the past will be in the parade next year .

One of her disappointments this year was that none of the area high school girls showed any interest in Logger Days so there is no royalty this year and the $250 college scholarship was not used.

Buttons, which allow entrance to all the festivities, are $4 in advance or $5 at the gate and Peppenger said, "Kootenai Kiwanis

have tried to balance the Logger Days budget with small entrance fees so families can continue to enjoy the event. There is no charge for children under 6."

She would also like to thank Jerry Bennett who continues to offer his expertise to the events even though he wants to retire from that responsibility.