Bend Oregon Log Jam

Log Jam: 12K Run and Professional Lumberjack Competition

With only six weeks to go before the opening of Bend's newest bridge in October 2003, the only city councilor to vote against its construction proposed a community event to commemorate its opening. He envisioned a public celebration that would heal the deep wound caused by the controversial "Southern River Crossing." The event would bridge Bend's timber past with its recreation present. His vision included a 12K run and 5K walk crossing all 15 of Bend's bridges, followed by a dedication ceremony for the new bridge and Bend's first professional lumberjack competition.

grassrootsPR assembled a volunteer team that handled all aspects of The Log Jam, from procuring $25,000 in sponsorships and permission from numerous landowners along the 12K run route to hiring a bluegrass band and setting up a professional timber arena. Close to 300 community members participated in the Bridge Run/Walk, with the winning runner breaking the ribbon to open the new bridge. Hundreds attended the bridge dedication ceremony, kicking off the community's first sanctioned lumberjack competition, which drew 35 professional competitors and more than 1,000 spectators. The Log Jam made the nightly news on the local TV station as well as the front page of the local newspaper.