What should replace Stillwater's Lumberjack Days?

Stillwater's Lumberjack Days festival is no more.

At its February meeting, the City Council voted to disband the annual celebration after an outcry of public disapproval and an ongoing investigation by local law enforcement. Sorry, Smash Mouth, you'll have to look for gigs elsewhere from now on.

Now, business owners are already proposing alternatives to the event. Though the mayor and City Council don't sound optimistic about a new festival just yet, they will eventually have to come up with something to spice up that 4th of July weekend.

With the lumberjack motif out the window, we came up with a few suggestions that we believe still capture the spirit of the area.

1. Michele Bachmann Days An event celebrating the legacy of the Stillwater area's most beloved politician. The weekend begins with a scavenger hunt at Stillwater Area High School, where participants will be tasked with collecting all of the science textbooks in the building, followed promptly by a luncheon bonfire. The event culminates with a mass praying away of all the gay in the St. Croix valley, hosted by Marcus. Must have long-form birth certificate to enter.

2. Prison Days Celebrating more than 160 years of penal excellence, Prison Days kicks off with the "Chain Gang Parade," featuring the residents of the Stillwater Prison shackled together and forced to walk down main street. Once the inmates have been shipped back to their cells, the event opens into a street carnival for kids, with classic games like "Contraband Hunt," "Bag of Urine Bean Bag Toss," and of course, the round-robin shivving contest. The official mascot of Prison Days is the Outlaw Bob Younger, who roams the fair dying of tuberculosis. It is tradition to beat Outlaw Bob with empty souvenir "Prison Yard-Long" drink bottles.

3. Stillwater Sasquatch Festival Stillwater is sitting on a potential gold mine for its next big festival. It came in the form of this news item last year, when a farmer supposedly shot a video of a strange, Bigfoot-like creature lurking in the woods--a creature dubbed the Stillwater Sasquatch. Yes, the film is a pathetic fake. Yes, it's a cheap ploy for publicity. But who says these festivals have to be centered on something real? There hadn't been an actual lumberjack in Stillwater for a hundred years. Stillwater doesn't need to overthink this. Just hold the same cheesy community events and change the theme: the 1-mile fun run with a Bigfoot costume contest, a torchlight and pitchfork parade, a cheap carnival with a Sasquatch theme and especially hairy stuffed-animal prizes. Every restaurant in town can sell Bigfoot Burgers. It's low overhead, and local shops will clean up selling Sasquatch-related T-shirts, coffee mugs, Abominable Snow Globes, plaster-of-Paris "footprints," and fake clay "coprolites." Ka-ching!  

4. Carlson Twins Day No shirt? No shoes? No problem! Carlson Twin Days is a weekend where shirtlessness is 100 percent encouraged, 100 percent of the time. Come celebrate the work of male models and Stillwater natives Kyle and Lane Carlson, with a special appearance by their bitter older brother, Aaron. Show us your best "Blue Steel" and win a ride on the back of someone's jet ski. Identical twins get a free soft pretzel to share, sponsored by Lakeview Health's OB/GYN Clinic and Pretzel Time Pretzels.

5. Mighty Ducks Days A weekend film festival celebrating the Mighty Ducks, led by Stillwater's own Fulton Reed, the young enforcer with a wicked slap shot from the movies. Reed, you might remember, was the first of the kids to get over the team's goofy name, telling Emilio Estevez's character, Gordon Bombay, "I'll be a duck." Will you be a duck at Mighty Ducks Days, watching the movies and playing youth hockey? The courts can sentence petty criminals to coaching exhibition peewee hockey games, like Bombay. Who knows? Maybe the next Team USA is out there.

6. Lift Bridge Demolition Days In this day and age of stretched government budgets, Lift Bridge Demolition Days aims to give taxpayers a little relief. A recently approved freeway-style bridge will soon render the old lift bridge obsolete, so the old one gots to go. Revelers will be asked to bring their own hammers. With kegs stashed on either end of the St. Croix aiding the effort, attendees will be boated to the middle of the river, where they will be able to vent aggression by taking down the bridge with their bare hands. Worried about sullying the St. Croix waters? Don't be. Remember -- in order to get the new bridge approved, the area had to be exempted from the Wild and Scenic Act.

OK, Stillwater City Councilmembers, consider this our official proposal. We'll be waiting patiently to hear your response. We're also open to suggestions in the comments section.

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