A volunteer team plants the climbing poles for the Logging Show. Photo: Lisa Bryan, KP News

The Key Peninsula Logging Show and Festival celebrates 31 years of the longest-standing community event on the peninsula Aug. 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Gateway Park in Wauna. The show has been on hiatus the last four years without a KP venue to call home.

Loretta Jaggi had a great idea for a community event in 1985: Pioneer Days, with a parade, logging competitions and a day of fun for the whole community. The parade began at Key Center, proceeding down Olson Drive to the KP Civic Center. The day included climbing and sawing competitions, a tug-of-war between Key Peninsula and Gig Harbor fire departments, and more.

Local loggers Dale Boquist, Tom and Dale Van Slyke and the Parsons family of Hoodsport all participated in the logging show events in the early days. The Parsons family has always provided the steam engines and are involved again this year. 

“I was 7 or 8, and I competed in some of the events,” said John Jaggi, Loretta’s grandson and this year’s organizer of the Logging Show.

After the first two years, the event moved to the Community house in Home, then four years later to the Longbranch Improvement Club (LIC). Renamed Old Timers’ Day and Logging Show Festival, it grew with the additions of vendors, musical groups, an auction and more displays such as antique vehicles and machinery. Jaggi, who has attended most of them, recalls helicopter rides at least one year.

Dale Boquist was in charge of his last show in 2014; the LIC was unable to host in following years. The KP Parks commissioners were approached for a move to Gateway Park, an area that’s larger and more central on the Key Peninsula.

“We received a warm approval and were given the go-ahead,” said Penny Gazabat, director of Key Peninsula Community Services, which organizes the event.

The festival couldn’t be moved to Gateway in 2016-17 due to park improvements underway. With those improvements now complete, the event, newly renamed Key Peninsula Logging Show & Festival, will take place at its new home.

Jaggi of Fell Rite Timber Co. and Dan Wehmeier of Wehmeier LLC are this year’s coordinators for the logging show. With assistance from Robert Pierce, Brian Allen of Archon Tree Services, climber Jacob Goranson, and Matt Lovo, two 72-foot climbing poles donated by Gazabat, have already been set up in 12-feet deep holes.

Competitions will include pole felling, pole speed climbing, bucking, axe throwing, “hot saws” and several chainsaw events, plus a tug-of-war between kids and loggers (“pound for pound” with weigh-in required).

People who wish to participate in an event must register. A $5 fee per event must be paid at registration, which begins at 9 a.m. at the park.

The event has been a major fundraiser for Key Peninsula Community Services for decades. Money raised through the logging events, auction, plus booth fees and food sales directly supports the KPCS food bank and senior center programs.

Truck and new equipment dealers will be on display too, including Peterbilt.

Rick Selfors, retired Key Peninsula Middle School shop teacher, will be the show’s master of ceremonies.

People are welcome to bring their own displays of related antiques, but need to coordinate with Gazabat by calling 253-884-4440 or emailing kpcsdirector@centurytel.net.

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