RUMFORD — Plans are falling into place for the May 4 debut of a lumberjack festival in the downtown area.

The Rumford Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Festival schedule of events were mostly finalized Wednesday by the Envision Rumford! committee.

The group also offered suggestions to artist and member Cherry Smith, owner of Ink Plaza, who is designing the festival’s logo for T-shirts, stationery and banners.

Member Jim Rinaldo will meet with Rumford selectmen Thursday night to seek permission to close some streets May 4. These are the lower end of River Street from behind Stanley’s Furniture to Route 108, Exchange Street, and lower Congress Street between Hartford Street and Route 108.

The group will also seek permission to use town property for two 600-foot-long zip lines planned to be strung from near the Rite Aid street-side parking area to the town snow dump. It will carry riders over the Androscoggin River.

Rinaldo said zip line engineer Jim Sysko of Newry has designed the plans and is to meet with the state fire marshal for approval.

Envision Rumford! is an economic development group trying to grow business on Rumford’s island by getting people into the downtown. They’ve also hired Sysko to build a zip-line mecca in Rumford in a multi-phased project.

Chairman Tammi Lyons said the event will start with the Lumberjack Kaleidoscope from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 3 at Scot and Cindy Grassette’s 49 Franklin.

Kaleidoscope is a monthly event that brings together performance, visual and other artists for an experience in co-created art, music and play. The May 3 theme is “Adult Tall Tales.”

The rest of the festival will be held all day on Saturday, May 4.

The American Legion will host a Lumberjack Breakfast from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Local radio station WOXO will broadcast on the island from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., including at the 10 a.m. start of the parade.

Rinaldo said the parade, which will feature skidders, pulp trucks, antique tractors and other machinery, will start at the old Puiia site. The route will pass in front of the information booth, take a left over Rumford Avenue, continue past the town library and take a right across Memorial Bridge. It will travel down Congress Street and onto Exchange Street, ending up behind the Elks Lodge.

Any groups or organizations that want to participate in the parade or crafters seeking limited space are to call Lyons at 364-3355, ext. 221. Volunteers are also being sought to help with the festival and are urged to contact Lyons. 

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be an event to find Paul Bunyan in downtown businesses. Details are still being fine-tuned.

The committee also decided to hold a cookie walk starting at 10 a.m., because it was so successful at Envision Rumford!’s debut Pumpkin Festival last fall.

Logging equipment and antique tractors will be on display from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., along with teams of oxen.

At 11 a.m., the Paul Bunyan Look-Alike Contest winner will be announced at the end of the parade.

Zip line rides are planned for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional events or activities that start at 11 a.m. include:

* An axe or hatchet throw competition until noon or 12:30 p.m. at Morency Park along River Street, depending on the turnout. The committee is still trying to decide a minimum age limit.

* Paul Bunyan movies for children at Bartash’s, at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

* Wagon rides until 2 p.m.

* A coloring/drawing contest until 2 p.m.

* A chain saw carving expo until 3 p.m.

Entries for the Apple Dessert Contest will be accepted until 12:30 p.m. Volunteers are being sought for judging. The winner will be announced at 1 p.m.

At 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., a Tall Tales event will be held for children in various age groups.

Musician Bill Scott will perform fiddle and banjo music from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

A skillet toss will be held from noon to 1 p.m. That will be followed by a crosscut saw competition from 1 to 2 p.m.; a log toss contest from 2 to 3 p.m., and arm wrestling at Hotel Rumford from 3 to 4 p.m.

Starting at 5 p.m. outside Hotel Rumford, a Flannel & Jeans Lumberjack Ball will be held with live bands performing.

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