Weekend of Loggers Playday events starts Friday afternoon

Loggers Playday is Saturday, but a “pre-show” hosted by Harbor Saw & Supply is slated for late afternoon on Friday.

It’s all part of what’s become a giant community event celebrating the history of the Harbor’s logging industry.

The 48th annual Loggers Playday contest starts at 6 p.m. at Olympic Stadium with dozens of competitors from all over the world competing for more than $11,000 in cash and prizes. Entry requires a $3 button that can be purchased at many Harbor businesses in advance, or at the door. The event concludes a day-long festival, including the annual parade at noon, a street fair and lots of places to eat,

Several years back, the Playday competition did away with the “hot saw” competition, where professional loggers would run souped up chainsaws to see who could slice a log away the fastest. But Harbor Saw & Supply saved the event and has incorporated it into its pre-show.

The company has been putting on the show for the past six years, since it moved to its location on 3102 Simpson Ave. in Hoquiam. The show goes from about 3:30 p.m. Friday until the store closes at 6 p.m. Food will be for sale to benefit the Harbor Saw Relay for Life team.

“The show gets a lot of traffic, especially when they see the giant V-8 hot saws,” said Josh Lennox, manager at Harbor Saw. “People stop and will want to know what’s going on.”

There’s also an ax throwing contest and other events. Professional logging competitor T.J. Bexten of Hoquiam helps the store put the show on, which serves as a stop-over and a practice session for many of the same people going to Loggers Playday on Saturday.

On Saturday, everything starts off with the Hoquiam Rotary Club’s breakfast, going from 6 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Elks Lodge Grand Parade takes place at noon and winds its way through downtown Hoquiam. Here’s a tip on the parade. Get there by at least 11:30 a.m. to score a parking spot and avoid street closures that always end up clogging traffic. Because of the parade route, the Simpson Avenue Bridge will remain open to traffic to those who must drive through town. The street fair, featuring an assortment of vendors and food booths, closes off all of 7th Street and starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m.

Still hungry? The Lions Salmon Bake goes from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Washington Elementary.

The festivities cap off with the Loggers Playday show at 6 p.m. at Olympic Stadium, with the fireworks slated to start at about 9 p.m. followed by a dance featuring musical act Ready or Not at the Hoquiam Elks.