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Competitions will include log rolling, wood chopping, cross-cut sawing, and chain saw and hot-saw racing

By Cathy Ingalls

Albany Democrat-Herald

The timber is going back into the Albany Timber Carnival.

For the first time since 2000, lumberjacks and jills are returning to compete in log rolling, wood chopping, cross-cut sawing, and chain saw and hot-saw racing at this year's July 4-5 event. The novice and professional competitions are sanctioned by the American Lumberjack Association, said organizer Rob Waibel, formerly of Sweet Home and now of the Portland area.

Also making a comeback this year is a Timber Carnival button created to commemorate the revitalized event. Admission is free, and parking is $3.

The organizers say more activities are scheduled at Timber-Linn Park than at any other time since the Albany Jaycees shut down the Timber Carnival, which had run for 57 years. Changing attitudes about what people liked to do for fun, falling attendance, a lack of volunteers and a shortage of funds forced the Jaycees to give up the annual celebration.

Since then organizers tried to attract people to the park during the holiday with music and fireworks.

Karen Carver, president and director of vendor services for this year's "Blast From The Past - A True Community Event," said activities begin in the morning both days and conclude with a fireworks display each evening.

On tap this year - so far - are food, craft and retail vendors, disc golf, horseshoe tournament, stage entertainment, beer garden, softball tournament, magic show, reptile touching area, border collie demonstration, family fun zone, car show, junior court and an Operation Homefront booth.

Representatives from Operation Homefront, which supports troops and families, are asking for donations of items for gift boxes to send to the troops. They also will provide balloons for people to release with the name of someone killed in the war attached to them.

Owners of muscle and classic cars are invited to take part in the car show on July 5. The cost is $25 per car before July 1, and that includes a free T-shirt. The cost is the same after July 1, but there is no T-shirt.

To register, contact Eric Henschel, (503) 838-0653.

People with memories of past timber carnivals are asked to call Lisa Landucci to record their thoughts. They will be played throughout the carnival.

For more information, contact Carver at 981-8511. Donations are needed and can be sent to Albany Timber Carnival, P.O. Box 1117, Albany, OR 97321.

Want to help?

Anyone wishing to help at the Albany Timber Carnival or wanting more information is invited to a meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. April 29 in the fourth-floor conference room of Samaritan Albany General Hospital, 1046 Sixth Ave. S.W. If you cannot make the meeting, call 981-8511 or e-mail albanytimber

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