Sultan logs on

By KARL SCHWEIZER

Herald Writer

SULTAN – Logging appeared alive and well in Sultan Saturday, as loggers climbed, chopped, sawed and hauled wood at the Sultan Shindig, that summer ritual of food, games, music and muscle, now in its 17th year.

Sultanites and their neighbors packed the downtown area, scarfing hot dogs, riding carnival rides and taking in stage performances.

"It’s better than staying home watching TV," said Monroe resident Jerry McDaniel, taking a break from the festivities on a bench.

"We’ve had good time walking around. We watched the parade," said his wife, Sue McDaniel.

But for Sultan man George Carberry, the heart of the show is the logging contest. Carberry, a retired superintendent of the Sultan School District, said the town has had the contests since the 1930s. The Shindig is a more recent invention that grew from the logging contests, becoming more elaborate as the city and Chamber of Commerce lent it support, he said.

Logging has grown easier with the addition of power tools.

"Some guys used to work themselves to exhaustion trying to saw through these logs (manually)," Carberry said. "Some of them didn’t make it though."

Contestants Saturday were competing to be "Bull of the Woods," the title bestowed on whoever gave the best performance in firewood chopping, speed climbing, an obstacle course and other logging events, said organizer Craig Roesler.

"All these events require real skills loggers use in the woods," Roesler said.

Then he corrected himself.

"Nobody throws axes. There’s just no reason in the woods to throw your ax," Roesler said.

The Sultan Shindig continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Events include a nondenominational church service at 11 a.m., logging contest finals at 1:30 p.m. and various concerts starting at 12:15 p.m.

You can call Herald Writer Karl Schweizer at 425-339-3452 or send e-mail to

schweizer@heraldnet.com.

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