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Lumberjack Festival could have been greater

As a freelance journalist it’s my job to report our local news without showing any bias, or real emotion, and at times that has proven to be quite challenging.

This past weekend, covering our annual Lumberjack Festival, has stirred feelings within myself that I can’t just ignore.

As I sauntered through the festival with my little cousin Harlow in tow, the sights, smells, and sounds woke up happy memories. When she sat to have her face painted, I thought back to a time when I sat there myself, choosing nearly the exact same butterfly to sit on my cheek.

Yet, something was missing.

One of my favorite parts of the festival has always been the Lumberjack Games. Where’s the smell of freshly chopped wood and the excitement of the crowd, could give you an “out of this world” rush.

Listening to a multitude of other people, especially those who traveled from out-of-town to experience this “Lumberjack” festival, it was obvious I wasn’t the only one missing the hyped-up flannel and axes.

Don’t get me wrong, the festival did have a nice turnout, despite the scattered showers. There were several activities for the kids, including a pony ride and an inflatable BB gun shooting range. There was good music, delicious “fair-style” food, and a large variety of vendors to browse through and purchase from.

But when I looked up at the water tower, I dare say our beloved Lumberjack had a tear in his eye.

Our library set up an amazing display of Springhill’s decades long history in the lumber industry, including memorabilia from Springhill High School [consolidated to NWHS in 2011] the original home of the Lumberjacks. But is that really doing our city justice?

Graduating as a Lumberjack myself [Class of 2000], I say this, “We need to water our roots, Springhill.”
Having had the opportunity these past few months to work closely with the Lumberjack Festival Committee, I know that the funds were not available to have the Lumberjack Games.

The festival was run on a very tight budget and a limited number of volunteers. Why?
Why do more Springhillians, more “Lumberjacks,” not step-up?

Everyone says they don’t want to see our city die, but I have to ask, what do you think happens to a tree when you don’t water its roots?

Before next years festival I urge you, my fellow SHS alumni, to do more than just attend the festival. Be a part of it. Join the committee in making it “bigger and better than ever”.

Journalist and political leader Marcus Garvey once said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origins, and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Don’t be that tree. Don’t let our roots die. Water them and watch Springhill flourish.

Maria Gonzalez is north Webster correspondent for the Minden Press-Herald.