After a silent Labor Day weekend in 2020, the Paul Bunyan Days (PBD) Committee is set to return to form starting Friday.
Paul Bunyan Days is the biggest event of the year and attracts visitors from all around the northwest for a variety of attractions including Sunday night’s fireworks display, the Blue Ox, the carnival, a fun run, vendors and more.
This year will feature a few new additions including a Show-and-Shine Monday, after the parade and Rose’s Fireworks Show will be combined with Sunday night’s show to make for an even bigger event.
“We were spreading the fire department thin because they also need to be at the demolition derby and the Sunday night show so we figured we’d combine the two shows,” PDB Committee Chairman Dale Hill said. “We are thinking that’s what we’ll do moving forward every year. It’ll make Sunday night’s show a bit bigger and last 10 to 15 minutes longer.”
Over the years the fireworks show has gotten bigger and Al Townsend, who has been the primary organizer since PBD’s inception, said this year will boast a $35,000 budget show.
This will be Townsend’s 52nd year putting on the fireworks show, and he said that after a year hiatus, the show will be just as big as ever. Townsend also brought on Bill Byes to help raise funds for the show after years of having on and off help with fundraising.
The fair kicks off at noon, Friday September 3, with the community booths and Blue Ox opening at Central Park. The carnival opens shortly after. The pet and doll parade will return and participants must check-in at the Grub Box parking lot.
Later that night there will be a movie night at the community amphitheater and the square dance at the Benewah County Fairgrounds, both starting at 8p.m.
There will also be live music at the Blue Ox at 8 p.m. with additional performers planned to play at the community amphitheater throughout the weekend.
Saturday’s events are the Karen Ebert Memorial 5K, which will mark the 14th fun run to be hosted during Paul Bunyan Days weekend.
More Saturday events include the Junior Olympics, water events at the city pool, the Crash for Cash Demolition Derby at the Benewah County Fairgrounds, and tug of war at the soccer field.
Sunday will feature helicopter rides at the west end of Central Park, children’s pool events and the Paul Bunyan Days Auction. The day will be topped off with the main fireworks show starting at dusk at the lower soccer field at Central Park. Sunday will also have the logging events at 1 p.m. Traditionally the logging events had been hosted on Monday after the parade.
“Saturday and Sunday will be packed full schedules this year,” Hill said in a previous interview. “We are mainly doing the change for staff because they have to run the logging events on Monday morning then turn around and tear down the carnival right after.”
Monday starts off with the parade, which gets bigger and better every year according to organizer Mark Todd. Todd, who similar to Townsend, has been organizing the parade since the event began.
This years grand marshals are Don and Rita Mueller, who had been longtime helpers during Paul Bunyan Days weekend.
The parade will be followed by the Show-and-Shine at the Cormana Building. Children’s events at the community amphitheater and more music at the community amphitheater.
The information booth will be open from 10 a.m through 10 p.m. daily at Central Park throughout the weekend. The booth will also be selling Paul Bunyan days apparel, hats, and memorabilia.