The 31st Annual Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 6 at Westwood Park.
It is named after Paul Bunyan, a mighty lumberjack of American folklore, because of his connection to Westwood. The escapades of this character were used as an advertising strategy by the Red River Lumber Company, the mill Westwood was built around.
Sponsored by the Westwood Area Chamber of Commerce, the Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival has a wide array of activities included with the price of admission making it a good choice for families looking for entertainment the week encompassing the Fourth of July. The festival is located at Westwood Park at Second and Greenwood streets.
- Logging Show: The most unusual aspect of the festival is the logging show in which contestants compete in lumberjack skills, such as the ax throw, standing block chop, choker race and singlebuck saw. Some of the events feature old logging methods while others are techniques used by modern lumberjacks. For example, contestants are timed on how fast they can saw a log. Both handsaws and chainsaws are used in the competition. The logging show begins at 12:30 p.m.
- Blues Festival: The Jason King Band will perform at noon followed by the Kyle Rowland Blues Band at 2:30 p.m. The Jason King Band is based in Reno and has performed all over Northern Nevada including the Big Easy Festival, the Nugget’s Best in the West Rib Cook-off and the El Dorado BBQ, Brews, and Blues Festival. The Kyle Rowland Blues Band, from Sacramento, was formed in 2010 and has been playing around California at such places as the Monterey Blues Festival, Sacramento Music Festival and Redding Shasta Blues Festival. Bring a lawn chair or sit on the grass to listen to the music.
- Junior Logging Show: Children have an opportunity to compete in Paul Bunyan activities designed for youth, such as nail driving and log rolling during the Junior Logging Show at 2 p.m. The winners of each event receive a medal.
- Apple Pie Baking Contest: Contestants bake two 9-inch pies, one for the judges and one to sell. The first place winner receives a five-quart. standup Kitchen Aid Mixer and the second place winner receives a $100 gift card to a kitchen utensil company. To enter, complete entry form and drop off at the Lassen County Visitor Center-Westwood Station Friday, July 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pies must arrive at the festival by noon with judging at 12:30 p.m. Entry forms are available online at westwoodareachamber.net.
- Blue Ox Bingo: Bingo squares are sold and the winner picked when a steer relieves itself while grazing on a grassy area with numbered squares. The amount won depends on how many squares are sold.
- Arts, Crafts, Collectibles and Antiques Fair: Crafters will be selling their wares at booths and there will also be vendors selling antique furniture, collectables and repurposed items. People can begin browsing and making selections at 11:00 a.m. when booths open.
- Children’s Carnival: For an additional cost, children can cool off on an inflatable waterslide or slip and slide in the carnival area. In addition, they can play on other inflatable toys including a climbing wall. Fun carnival food is also sold at this venue such as cotton candy, kettle corn, Hawaiian ice and gourmet lemonade.
For more information on the Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival call the Westwood Chamber of Commerce at 256-2456 or visit the website at westwoodareachamber.net.
Paul Bunyan Festival pre-event activities offer something for all
Although gates to the Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival Saturday, July 6, open at 11 a.m. at Westwood Park, the festivities begin Friday night, July 5, with a street dance and several events take place Saturday morning.
Scheduled pre-festival events are as follows:
Forgery is the featured band at the street dance from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 5, in the parking lot of the Lassen County Visitor Center-Westwood Station located near the railroad tracks at the corner of Third and Ash streets. Vendors sell food and beverages.
Paul Bunyan Festival Fun Run
The Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival 5K Fun Run/Walk begins at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, July 6, at the Lassen County Visitor Center-Westwood Station (corner of Ash and Third streets near the railroad tracks). Registration begins at 7 a.m. and is a small fee with children under 12 free. Forms are also available at westwoodareachamber.net. The event supports the Westwood Athletic Program with all funds going to the Westwood High School Sports Program.
Westwood Museum Log Camp Breakfast
From 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., volunteers for the Westwood Museum will be serving pancakes, eggs and bacon at the Westwood Community Center at the corner of Third and Birch streets. All funds support Westwood Museum Inc., the nonprofit formed for the oversight of the museum. A board of directors has set in place policy and works to preserve the history of the old logging town, which was established in 1913.
Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival Parade
A parade will launch the Paul Bunyan Mountain and Blues Festival at 10:30 a.m. progressing down Ash Street to Third Street and ending at Westwood Park on Greenwood Street at the Festival.
The theme for the parade is “At Least It’s Not Snowing.” The parade grand marshal is Mary Hasselwander, who has lived in Westwood for 51 years and served the community in a multitude of ways. Currently she serves on two boards — Westwood Museum, Inc. and the Westwood Community Services District.
The Westwood Chamber welcomes all groups and individuals as parade participants. Kids can decorate their bicycles, clubs and groups can march or decorate a pickup truck or trailer, owners of classic cars and convertibles can drive the route and horseback riders can enter. There is no entry fee. Entry forms are available at westwoodareachamber.net. The parade lineup site is at Seventh and Ash streets at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, July 6.