Logging Exhibition Continues Today at Esky | News, Sports, Jobs
ESCANABA – After missing a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo is back in Escanaba this week to celebrate a late 75th anniversary.
“We had to be here for our 75th just because we’ve been to Escanaba more times than anywhere else,” said Laurie Schienebeck, interim event coordinator for the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, which hosts the annual show that typically alternates between Escanaba and Wisconsin venues.
The Expo kicked off Thursday and continues until today at the UP State Fairgrounds. Vendors and exhibitors from across the region were on hand throughout the event to showcase their products and services, as well as highlight many programs and organizations that impact both loggers and carriers. .
“I’ve noticed a lot of people have bags full of stuff, and that’s good too because it means they stop and talk to people.” said Haley Johnson, of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, who noted that her own booth had been so busy she only had a promotional pen at noon and the booth’s supply of candy was dwindling.
While the loot was certainly a bonus for event guests, disseminating information to logging and heavy equipment industry was a top priority for exhibitors.
“We love to do this, the WMCA promotes road safety and that’s what people care about when they come to see us” said Johnson, who was also in attendance at the exhibit to brief visitors about the Truckers Against Trafficking program, which aims to help truck drivers recognize human trafficking.
For many, this week’s event was their first Expo and the first time at Escanaba.
“I think it’s a good experience,” said Derek Fleischman, who works in crane parts for the I-State Truck Center in Marshfield, Wisconsin. While I-State was a regular Expo exhibitor, Fleischman was new to the event.
There was – and still is – much more at the Expo than just the exhibitors. The event kicked off Thursday with a launch event in the Miracle of Life building on the exhibition grounds, which included live music, free drinks, a Croatian chicken dinner, and themed cakes and cupcakes. ax supplied by Elmer’s County Market.
“There is no lumberjack who has not eaten enough” said Schienebeck, who noted that each of the more than 600 people who attended were served half a chicken.
The launch event was capped off with a fireworks display celebrating the 75th show hosted by the Delta County Chamber of Commerce.
The event also featured a number of skill competitions, ranging from ladies’ bowling – a tribute to the frying pan throwing games that took place in many logging camps of yesteryear – and traditional shooting. tug of war from Wisconsin to Michigan, in heavy equipment skill challenges. Equipment operators got to test their mettle in the Barko Loader Championship, the Komatsu America Corp./Roland Machinery Forwarder Operation Challenge, and even an excavator challenge hosted by Midway Rentals of Escanaba. The carrier and loader challenges continue today until noon.
The Expo opens today at 8 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Next year’s event will take place September 8-10 at the new Resh Exhibition Center in Green Bay.