The biggest celebration of the year returns this weekend with new and familiar attractions.

Those who attend the weekend’s festivities are in for a fun fueled weekend filled with new and familiar attractions.

Paul Bunyan Days kicks off this Friday for an event packed weekend featuring logging competitions, carnival rides, food and craft vendors, live music, a demolition derby and one of the country’s largest fireworks shows.

“Al Townsend is running a $40,000 (fireworks) show this year,” Dale Hill, Paul Bunyan Days Committee Chairman, said.

Over the years the fireworks show has gotten bigger and alone attracts people from all over the area and even from out of state. Mr. Townsend puts on a smaller Saturday night fireworks show in honor of his late wife Rose as well.

This years’ newest event, the Rotary Ball Drop, will take place after the logging competitions on Sept. 2. Friday Aug 30 through Sunday Sept. 1 people can buy tickets at a booth set up by the Rotary Club and those who enter will have their information associated with a number that will be written on a golf ball.

On the day of the event a helicopter provided by Inland Helicopters will fly over the lower soccer field and drop all the numbered balls over a cross that will be on the lower soccer field at the city park, the ball that lands closest to a stake at the center of the cross will be the winner of the grand prize.

“This is something new and different,” Bill Wheeler, President of the Rotary Club, said, “to have a helicopter sit 100 feet up in the air and drop a big bucket of golf balls to me sounds like a fun thing to see.”

The event supports the St. Maries Fireman’s Association fund, which helps fire victims, and it helps to support the St. Maries Rotary Club Strive Scholarship.

“We hope it works well and that it becomes an annual thing for us,” Mr. Wheeler said.

A family movie night, another new attraction to the fair, will be at the community amphitheater at 8p.m on Friday night. Those that attend are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

Another anticipated attraction, the Crash for Cash Demolition derby, is one of the most popular events of the weekend and will also be returning to this years festivities and hosted at the Benewah County Fairgrounds.

“We got a good group that comes in for the demolition derby out of Pinehurst.” Mr. Hill said. “We set up the fairgrounds and they run the event and do the rules.”

The fair kicks off on Friday 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 community amphitheater throughout the weekend.

Saturday’s events are the Karen Ebert Memorial 5K, Junior Olympics, water events at the city pool, the Crash for Cash Demolition Derby at the Benewah County Fairgrounds, tug of war at the soccer field and Rose’s Fireworks Show.

Sunday will start of with the community breakfast at the Eagles Lodge sponsored by the Humane Society. The Valley Piecemakers Quilt Show will start at the Heyburn Elementary Gymnasium at 10a.m. There will also be 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.

Monday starts off with the parade, which gets bigger and better every year. This years grand marshals are the American Legion Post 25 members. The parade will be followed by children’s events at the community amphitheater and logging events. The first ever Rotary Ball Drop will commence at the lower soccer field after the logging events.

The information booth will be open from 10a.m through 10p.m daily at city park throughout the weekend. The booth will also be selling Paul Bunyan days apparel, hats, and memorabilia.

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