What Should Stillwater’s Lumberjack Days Replacement Look Like?

What would you like a replacement to Lumberjack Days look like? Check out the results of the ReadEx Community Events survey and share your ideas in the comment section below.

The results of the recent ReadEx survey about future events in Stillwater told the City Councilmembers that the majority of businesses and residents want some sort of summer festival — but they're split when it comes to what exactly that should look like.

“We asked a bit about how a replacement for Lumberjack Days should look, and basically half the community said they want one smaller than Lumberjack Days and the other half wants something the same size or larger,” Michele Hanson of ReadEx told the council. “This is your biggest dilemma right here, because you have no clear answer about where to go.”

PDF: Click here to view the ReadEx PowerPoint Presentation to the council.

While 50 percent of residents wanted something smaller, the survey says, 41 percent of the businesses in town support a smaller event.

On average, the participants said they didn't feel inconvenienced by past events. Those who were inconvenienced said traffic and a lack of parking were the biggest issues. 

As for what residents would support for a replacement LJD event, it was all about kids’ events, fireworks, food vendors, smaller/local acts, lumberjack exhibitions and a parade. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed also said they'd like to see a marathon, bicycle race or a water show.

FUN FACT: One percent of those surveyed said they want a Lumberjack Day's replacement to go down in January.

Nearly twice as many support concerts by smaller/local acts (83 percent) as opposed to big-name acts (43 percent), Hanson said, but how someone perceives big-name act is ambiguous.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they would like to see a mix of event sizes in Stillwater, including one large “draw,” and several smaller events that focus on locals — just shy of 80 percent say they think Stillwater has "about the right amount of events."

The council set a workshop meeting for March 21 to further discuss replacement events.

The Six Objectives of the Survey:

  1. Evaluate community preferences for a summer festival;
  2. Identify the maximum acceptable impact of events on neighborhoods, businesses and city resources;
  3. Identify the kinds of events desired by the community;
  4. Determine which neighborhoods and commercial districts are appropriate venues for events that use public resources ,streets, sidewalks and parks;
  5. Help the Council determine the maximum number of allowable events in a year, and decide whether multiple substantially similar events should be allowed, and if so, at what frequency;
  6. Help the Council form a comprehensive events policy.

Takeaways from LJD Replacement Event Survey

  • Two in three community members support the creation of a replacement event for LJD in the future;
  • Community is divided about whether the event should be smaller or the same/larger
  • Residents are slightly more likely than businesses to want something smaller
  • Those who are the least likely to have attended LJD in the past 4 years or to have spent money if they did attend events are the ones who are most likely to support a smaller event
  • Nearly twice as many support a concert by smaller/local acts as big name acts
  • More support it being held downtown than at another local park
  • July is the month preferred by the most

Survey Results about Events in General:

  • Two in three community members would like to see a mix of event sizes in Stillwater, including one large “draw” and several smaller events that focus on local residents;
  • Four in five think Stillwater typically has about the right amount of events;
  • Most agree that past events have had a positive impact on the city and its business community;
  • On average, they felt the inconvenience of past events was minimal/non-existent to them personally;
  • Traffic and lack of parking were the biggest inconveniences A majority support each type of event being held downtown; some events could be in other local parks, too;
  • Few want events in their own neighborhood.

Survey Method

Population Percentage of Population Number Surveyed Number of Responses Response Rate Businesses 493 7 493 219 44 West Stillwater 1,142 17 395 221 56 Middle Stillwater 2,557 38 396 252 64 Original Stillwater 2,257 33 396 238 60

Downtown Stillwater

320 5 320 175


Of the 2,000 surveys sent out, 1,105 participants responded for a 55 percent response rate. The survey was done from Dec. 11, 2012 through Jan. 24, 2013. Source: ReadEx Community Events Survey.


Survey: Stillwater Residents Want a New Event to Replace Lumberjack Days

City Council to Consider Extending Moratorium on Events in Stillwater ... Until Further Notice

What Should a Summer Festival in Stillwater Look Like?

The survey was conducted by mail. ReadEx first sent out an alert letter letting participants know they would recieve a a survey packet with a letter from the mayor and a postage-paid reply envelope. A similar followup survey packet was later sent out to those who didn't respond.

Last July, the city council  to gain feedback on what a future summer festival in Stillwater should look like. Funds for the survey came from the lodging tax.

HMW March 01, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Randy, sorry for not agreeing with you, but I like the old lumberjack days...the ones that were just a bit more family friendly. I'm a resident here - didn't go to LJD this past year, but I did go to some other festivals in the area. Personally I think we need to tone LJD down. And yeah, the wiener dog lovers are a rowdy group....Dog demos draw some pretty good crowds. And yes, I think we should have a parade, some carny rides, I wish we could have sidewalk sales again...if not down town, then up on the "strip". LJD used to start on Thursday with the sidewalk sales. Local bands would be good, but maybe limit that to Fri and Sat. Have some of the "calmer" events on Sunday or Saturday mornings/afternoon. I don't think it is or would be a bad thing to have a cultural event. Definitely ought to have logging related events again.
Pam French March 02, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Close off the downtown for foot traffic only for a sidewalk sale for that weekend. Allow street artists to entertain and put tables and chairs in front of the restaurants to encourage more patronage. Have local band concerts in the evenings at Lowell Park with a juried art show.
Scott in Wisconsin March 03, 2013 at 10:56 PM
An event in Stillwater could focus on what put it on the map in the first place, the river. An on the water antique boat show, competitions similar to the milk carton boat races (with unique materials), canoe races, a nightime lighted boat parade, a daytime parade on the river with floats, bands, etc..., food and drink competitons between the local establishments in which the parameters are only revealed at the start of the weekend, sidewalk sales, a street dance........
HMW March 03, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Good ideas...
Becky Garner Jenkins August 24, 2013 at 05:29 PM
I hadn't gone to Lumberjack Days since they started the whole Big Bands deal. It's too much. I grew up in this town, I loved and appreciated the old Lumberjack Days with carnivals for the kids. Rides and games. Bingo, sidewalk sales, races and log rolling, Tree cutting. It was created years ago by Stillwater residents, and should remain by Stillwater Residents. I know of many people who put their hearts and souls into Lumberjack Days. Some to keep it going. I would do anything to get that old time back! Should be for the kids. Not for the music and drinking and all about making the almighty dollar. Stillwater people should be the ones to decide. This is my town, I live and have always lived here. I want the old Lumberjack Days back. And so does everybody else I know. Why does it have to be big? Every town has a Day for having fun and bringing your family to the doings. Not ours. And not our fault. What happened to our beautiful little town? I remember how beautiful the park used to look when it was called the Sunken Gardens. We just want a small festival for the kids to enjoy and experience. Sorry, I'm just upset still about this whole mess. We've been robbed of our excitement and fun. Not to mention our beautiful town.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »