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Logging Days at Buena Vista: ‘Not forgetting the past’

Horses help get the work done during a demonstration of traditional logging activities at last year’s Logging Days celebration. Bemidji Pioneer File Photo

BUENA VISTA – Logging Days will mark its 30th year this weekend as organizers say this year’s event, especially, will highlight the past because of its landmark anniversary.

Logging Days was founded in 1983 by Earle Dickinson, his father Leonard, and Benhart Rajala “to honor and preserve the heritage of lumberjacks and early logging in Minnesota.”

Despite their deaths over the years, the spirit of the event continues today, said Suzanne Thomas, Earle Dickinson’s daughter.

“It’s all about not forgetting the past,” she said.

This year, the Logging Days button features a likeness of Earle Dickson and surviving members of the Rajala family also are expected to attend events.

“We’re hoping they’re able to come up,” Thomas said. “We have some special recognition for them.”

Thomas said she’s been going through old photos, looking back on past Logging Days celebrations.

“It is kind of nice to look back through those,” she said. “It’s neat to see photos of the three of them together.”

The Hall of Fame, a replica of a log building found in a logging came, celebrates and preserves lumberjack history. Its walls are covered with photographs and tools used by lumberjack and other camp workers.

Wendell Knutson, with the Go and Whoa Harness Club, said an old-time logger will speak during the 1 p.m. Tall Timberjack Ceremony in the Hall of Fame building.

“It’s going to be a nice program,” Knutson said.

Logging Days is held 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Buena Vista Logging Village. General admission is $6, $4 for those 6-12 years old, and free for those under 5. There also is a $25 family rate.

A variety of events are planned, including logging demonstrations, sleigh rides, all-you-can-eat flapjacks (for an additional charge), crafts, roping contests and more.

“Just come out and have a good time,” Knutson said.