By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Most events will be from today through Saturday. Celebration begins this morning with the presentation of the 2013 Pioneer Logger Award and sports.
The verbal history of Forks will be on display at the Old Timers’ Round Table beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday at JT’s Sweet Stuff, 80 N. Forks Ave.
From actual area history to historical gossip and fishing and logging tall tales, longtime Forks residents will swap stories of the West End’s wilder days.
“It’s whatever people want to talk about,” said Christi Baron, Heritage Days organizer.
The moderated storytelling is limited only by when the storytellers get tired and run out of stories, Baron said.
“Everyone gets a turn, and sometimes they bring pictures,” she said.
During the celebration, residents often wear traditional logger hickory shirts.
The tough, narrow-striped blue or gray hickory shirts — which stand up to the rough, wet work of logging — are a uniform of sorts in many West End communities.
For those who don’t yet have one, hickory shirts are available for sale at Forks Outfitters at 950 S. Forks Ave. or Jerry’s Rentals, Sales and Service at 1051 S. Forks Ave.
The celebration began in 1981 when the Forks Thriftway store decided to honor the logging industry of the area, and the event has expanded to include a communitywide celebration of the town’s history.
Dale Raben, 85, will be presented with the 2013 Pioneer Logger Award — given to an individual who has had an impact on the timber industry — at the West End Business and Professional Association meeting today.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Department of Natural Resources building’s conference room at 411 Tillicum Lane.
Raben moved to Forks in the 1950s to work as a logger and in the 1970s purchased DR Cedar, a shake and shingle mill south of Forks.
On Thursday is a three-hour Logging and Mill Tour beginning at 9 a.m.
The tour will begin at the Forks Visitor Center, 1411 S. Forks Ave., and will go to working logging sites and an operating mill, demonstrating to visitors modern logging and the base of the region’s economic history.
Donations are accepted.
Volunteer tour guides are retired and semi-retired forestry workers with knowledge of the industry.
Seating is limited, so reservations are recommended to 360-374-2531.
Children 8 or older are welcome. Closed-toe shoes, such as sneakers or boots, are required.
For the second year, the celebration also includes sporting events leading up to the Forks High School Spartans homecoming game and dance Friday.
The events begin today with a Forks Middle School football game against Port Angeles’ Stevens Middle School at 4 p.m. at Spartan Stadium at Forks High School, 261 Spartan Ave.
On Thursday, the girls Spartan volleyball team will take on the Montesano Bulldogs at 5:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Forks High gymnasium.
Friday is “Wear your Blue and Gold Day” to support the Forks High football team in the homecoming game.
The Spartans will face off against the Tenino Beavers in the alumni-welcoming classic fall game at 7 p.m. Friday.
Smoked fish will be judged, and beer and root beer will be on tap from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Old Mill Roundhouse at the 110 Business Park, 100 LaPush Road.
Entries for the smoked fish should be at the Old Mill Roundhouse at noon for judging. Brew entries should arrive after noon.
First-, second- and third-place prizes for smoked fish recipes will be awarded, as well as a People’s Choice selection.
Admission is by donation.
On Oct. 5, in the final event of the extended celebration, the Little Loggers Contest at Forks Outfitters connects children with their ideas of the logging history of their town.
The Little Loggers Contest includes activities for children ages birth to 12.
Children’s hickory shirts and rigging pants costumes are judged, and prizes are given in age categories such as best fake beard.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.