Stillwater doesn't want another Lumberjack Days fiasco

Categories: Events

Lumberjack Days.
The new proposal would be a throwback to simpler times.
​It sounds like Stillwater is still recovering from a Lumberjack Days hangover.

At a City Council meeting Tuesday, local businessmen proposed an alternative to the now-defunct summer Lumberjack Days festival, which would be called "Stillwater River Days." But amid still-pending investigations into Lumberjack Days, the council isn't quite ready to start over yet.

According to the Pioneer Press, the mayor and councilmembers were hesitant to green-light Stillwater River Days for summer 2012. Though they didn't shut the door entirely, the prospect sounds bleak as of now.

Lumberjack Days has been the subject of heated debate around Stillwater. For years, it was a highly anticipated summer festival, drawing crowds from around the state to see bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blues Traveler, and Cheap Trick.

But behind the scenes, things weren't running so smoothly. The Washington County Sheriff's Department is still investigating allegations against the association behind the event regarding unpaid vendors. This investigation, combined with other complaints, prompted the City Council to give Lumberjack Days the ax at a February meeting, determining that the level of "public disapproval" toward the festival was causing more harm than good to the community.

Stillwater Patch talked with Robert Hart, one of the businessmen behind the River Days proposal, about what that would entail. According to Hart, the new festival would be a throwback to simpler times in the small river town:

Valley Promotions proposes a family-friendly event in the tradition of what used to be called "Play Days," Hart said. That tradition goes back to the 1930s and 40s. In those days, the festival was a simple, straightforward celebration that was very much family-oriented.

Well, that certainly sounds wholesome.

Despite the resistance from city government, Hart and Valley Promotions plan to continue pushing the proposal with the council, arguing it's vital that Stillwater keeps the summer tradition going.

Previous Coverage:

  • Stillwater's Lumberjack Days terminated by City Council

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    My Voice Nation Help

    Follow the money. Someone needs to audit the city of Stillwater for how they used the money paid to them by Lumberjack Days for services during the festival. Seems like there's a lot more to this story.


    Great things always go wrong when the businessmen start getting greedy. That's why we have LLCs, so you can run away with the cash.

    Dan Frye
    Dan Frye

    I'm sorry but I rarely had a postive experience at Lumberjack Days. It was a nice free event but would almost always devolve into something ridiculous. Example: the multiple drunken brawls that broke out in front of and around me during Lynyrd Skynrd with the security joining in and doing little to quell the issue. I love downtown Stillwater but something more low-key would be much better.


    Lumberjack days, taste of MN, taste of the nations.  All of these were packed with people and are all cancelled due to unpaid cities or vendors.  Sounds like the people handling the money need to be replaced.

    Kirk the Conservative Jerk
    Kirk the Conservative Jerk

    "Lumberjack Days" was always a good time. Sounds like a good time for Stillwater to evaluate their Councilmen and their decisions.

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