By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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FORKS — Football and smoked fish wrap up the week's Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days celebration in Forks.
Today is “Wear Your Blue and Gold Day” to support the Forks High School football team and demonstrate school and community cheer.
Homecoming events reach their climax at 7 tonight as the Spartans face off against the Tenino Beavers in the alumni-welcoming classic fall game.
“Everyone gets in the spirit of it,” said Christi Baron, organizer of Heritage Days.
Baron said she didn't know what percentage of Forks residents are Forks alumni, but it could well be more than half.
“Generations are here,” Baron said.
A huge mural of a Spartan has appeared in the window of Ron's Food Mart, 170 N. Forks Ave, and just about everyone wears the school colors, Baron said.
The annual Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days celebration began Wednesday with the presentation of the 2013 Pioneer Logger Award and sports and continued Thursday with the Old Timers' Round Table and the three-hour Logging and Mill Tour, as well as sporting events leading up to the game and dance tonight.
Saturday fish feed
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.
The Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days celebration also fetes the hickory shirt.
The tough, narrow-striped blue or gray hickory shirts stand up to the rough, wet work of logging and present the heritage of the West End.
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 with the Forks Thriftway store and has grown to be a celebration of the town's history.
Dale Raben, 85, was 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 Wednesday.
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 Oct. 5, another event affiliated with the annual celebration will be held at Forks Outfitters.
The Little Loggers Contest connects children with their ideas of the logging history of their town and offers activities for children up to 12 years old.
Children, often wearing miniature hickory shirts and rigging pants costumes, are judged and prizes are given for outstanding costumes in five age categories.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.