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Call for lumberjacks

While many of Oregon's timber traditions have been felled (pardon the pun), one remains.

The 60th annual Prospect Jamboree and Timber Carnival will be held Saturday, Aug. 21, at Lions Park, at the end of First Street, Prospect.

The annual event was preserved for many years by the efforts of the late lumber innovator and aviator Eugene Burrill. Now the event is sponsored by the Prospect Community Center and is its biggest fundraiser. With the proceeds, the group is able to maintain the city hall and sponsor community events, including 4-H, emergency family support and a variety of children's activities.

"We just love that we can keep this tradition going," says Liz Steward, president of the Prospect Community Center and chairwoman of the Timber Carnival. "It used to be that every small town had a timber show ... but the lack of volunteers caused them all to go by the wayside."

Lumberjacks can fuel up for the day's activities at 7 a.m. at the Lumberjack's breakfast at Lions Park. The breakfast fare is scrambled eggs, two pancakes, two sausages and a beverage for $6.

At 10 a.m., the parade begins at the Prospect Wayside and ends at Lions Park, where all other events will take place.

Returning this year are father-and-son daredevils Steve and Brian Bartow. A world-record speed climber, Brian Bartow will perform a speed-climb demo. Steve Bartow, also known as Arnold the Clown, will scale a 75-foot pole and perform juggling and clown acts from the top. The timber team also will perform the risky underhand and springboard chops.

"There's only a handful of guys in the world that are crazy enough to do this," says Steward.

Other timber sports include log-rolling, axe-throwing, chainsaw competitions, double and single buck sawing, men and women's choker-setting, speed-axe throwing and Jack and Jill, an event where man-and-woman pairs compete at sawing through a log using a two-person crosscut saw.

Registration for the timber events begins at 10:30 a.m. in Lions Park and costs $10 per event. Events are open to all amateur lumberjacks, says Steward.

All other events are free with the price of admission, including the hay scramble, watermelon-eating contest, hula hoop contest, gunny sack races and a limbo contest.

A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the winner of the tug-of-war tournament. A $50 entry fee is required for teams of six men or six women. Teams can weigh no more than 1,250 pounds.

Cash prizes also will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners in the horseshoe contest. Entry fees are $15 for singles and $30 for doubles.

"This is the biggest day in town," says Steward.

Admission to the jamboree is $5 and $2 for youths aged 12 and younger. For more information, see www.prospectcommunity.org or call 541-560-3793.

A competitor at the 2009 Timber Festival tries her hand at the modified stock saw. - Photo by Jo Turner