Colton Corner: Colton celebrates the Fourth with Timber Festival
One of the ways Estacada celebrates the Fourth of July is with the annual Timber Festival.
The event, put on by Estacada Area Community Events, is held at Timber Park and was added to the Big Bang Fireworks Program in 2012. It is a day filled with logging competitions that include chainsaw contests, pole climbing, choke setting, ax throwing, log rolling and choke setting races for both adult loggers and kids. Besides the logging contests the Timber Festival offers food carts, a beer garden, live music, lots of activities for kids, craft vendor booths, horse pulls and the finale of the evening is the Big Blast Fireworks Show.
The logging community of Colton is well represented as a participants, volunteers and as the event organizer.
John Wood of Estacada and Vickie Schroeder of Colton area are the Timber Festival organizers. Schroeder schedules the show, helps with registration, backs up timers and helps with set-up and clean-up.
On July 4, 2017, Schroeder and her husband, Albert, won the Jack and Jill bucking contest, where a male and female use a two-person bucksaw to saw through a log, competing for fastest time.
In June of 2017, right before that competition win, Schroeder was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started treatments in July of that year, just a week before her 55th birthday. Schroeder said she credits her medical team and the prayers of family, friends and community for helping her through the treatments and multiple surgeries. She has now been cancer-free for one year and seven months.
"I try to pay it forward by helping others that are going through what I did," Schroeder said. "For those who are facing it now, I offer to answer their questions if it will help to ease their fears."
She says she wants to remind women that it is so very important to get their medical check-ups and mammograms.
"I didn't do it like I should have," she said. "Breast cancer does not run in my family I am the first. What a terrible thing to pass on to my children. My diagnosis was stage-three cancer. I cried for one day; then I got mad. Time to beat this and get on with our lives. It makes you think about how much you still want and have to do in life."
Last year, Schroeder could not compete in the Jack and Jill event because she was recovering from surgery, but she was there at the 2018 Timber Festival as co-event organizer. This year, she and Albert, took to the bucksaw and earned a second-place finish. Vickie said next year she is planning on winning the first-place trophy.
Other Colton area top finishers in logging events included Ivan Schroeder with second place in Single Buck, Ellan Bundy with third place in Log Roll and Dale Veelle with first place in Ax Throw, where he earned 16 points for the win.
The list of Colton volunteers is pretty long and includes Tasha and Ellan Bundy, Lucy Young, Seth Veelle, Lisa and Dale Veelle, Crystal Sweeney, Rick Molinari, Ivan and Britny Schroeder, Albert and Vickie Schroeder and Jacob and Joanna Ritchie.
Competitors at this year's Timber Festival came from as far away as Alaska and included some top-of-the-charts contestants and exhibitors.
In events that are "built for speed," the Hot Saws competition includes the biggest, baddest saws you have ever seen (or heard). In an exhibition Hot Saw event, the fastest time winner was the father and son team of Dan and Denton Clarke, of Buckley, WA. Their super saw, weighing between 450-500 pounds, is powered by a 1962 Buick 215, V-8 engine and tore through a 26-inch log in 1.79 seconds.
Steve Galbraith of Detroit, OR took first place in the Open Saw event with what is considered the fastest chainsaw engine on the West Coast. It is driven by a 1976 McCullough 101 engine, running on alcohol at 12,700 RPMs. It has a big volume blimp exhaust pipe and between the two high-speed saw competitions, you have the rock and roll of the timber events. The pole climb is the breathtaking event, ax throws and log rolling are crowd favorites, and the bucksaw competitions are the strength and perseverance events.
The park was filled with hundreds of attendees.
Schroeder and Wood did a fantastic job organizing and hosting the day-long timber events.
Following the logging contests, there was a draft horse pulling competition where the two horse winning team pulled 7,000 pounds, then onto live music followed by the Big Bang Fireworks show.