Making family memories

Luther Logging Days a long tradition of family fun

From near and far, families gathered downtown on Saturday to celebrate the rich history of logging in Luther.

Sirens blared and children laughed as fire trucks from across the area flashed their lights and honked their horns during the annual Logging Days Parade.

The parade is one of the key features of the annual festival, and for visitors from all over, it’s their favorite part.

Jason and Charity Hick travel with their family from Dowling each year to celebrate the village’s logging history.

The couple and their sons, Jacob, 12, and Jeremy 10, love the weekend festival.

“I’ve been coming here since the 1980s,” Charity said. “I wasn’t much older than our children when we started coming here.”

The Hicks have made it a family trip since they married.

“I love it,” Jason said. “It is a small, nice community, with really nice people.”

The Hicks were there with family from Rockford who started the tradition long ago. “We love it,” said Deb Abplanalp, of Rockford, who watched from the sidelines with her husband, Jim. “It’s our favorite weekend of the year.”

Jim has been coming to Luther each year since 1959.

“My grandfather would bring me here to our family cabin for fishing, snowmobiling and pretty much everything outdoors,” Jim said. “It is a tradition we have kept with our kids and now with our grandchildren. We like the people and the area. It is fun all year round.”

Luther festival-goers enjoyed socializing on Main Street in a throwback to the days of Beaver Cleaver and the quiet streets of Mayfield. The street was dotted with food vendors, arts and crafts vendors and other activities.

From celebrating the freedom of America and the community’s rich lumber and logging heritage the whole family could enjoy watching the lumberjack competition, participating in the kid’s games and many other events.

Granddaughters, Ella and Rylee Littell, 8 and 6, and Melena and Brinley Ouzts, 6 and 3 waved to the passing parade floats hoping to scoop up the massive amount of loot tossed out by parade participants.

“Everybody’s friendly and there is lots of candy,” Melena said.

The festival is a reminder for Deb how precious the time spent with her family is.

“We just love this small town,” Deb said. “Each year it is a great place to bring our family. It is a great festival to come and make family memories.”