Party for Paul Bunyan

Akeley hosts 73rd annual festival for famous logger.

Paul Bunyan was the center of attention last weekend as Akeley hosted its 73rd annual celebration of the famous lumberjack.
Shannon Geisen/Enterprise
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A bit of rain didn’t dampen the festive mood in Akeley Saturday morning.

The Akeley Veterans Community Outreach (AVCO) hosted a challenging ring toss game outside of the historical museum. Donna Ahlman, along with member Sherry Grantham, presided over the game. AVCO was established in 2020 to take over the duties of the dismantled Akeley VFW.
Shannon Geisen / Enterprise

“There are some die-hards,” Sherry Grantham, a member of the Akeley Veteran Community Outreach, said of Paul Bunyan Days fans.

The town held its 73rd annual festival over the weekend, offering food, fun and music for families.

Shakela Majest adds sparkle to children's faces at the 2022 Paul Bunyan Days. "I got my nursing degree, but I like this more," Majest said.
Shannon Geisen / Enterprise

Highlights included a kids’ carnival at Paul’s Patio, a youth fishing contest and grand parade.

Twenty-five children ventured to the Akeley fishing pier for Saturday's fishing contest.
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise

Leslie Neppl has helped organize the fishing tourney for the past three years. It’s the first time fishing for some kids, she noted, who must be 12 years old or younger.


“It’s just great fun for everybody,” Neppl said.

Jude Senger caught the first fish at Saturday's kids' fishing contest.
Shannon Geisen / Enterprise

This year, 25 youth participated in the contest, casting lines from the Akeley fishing pier on 11th Crow Wing Lake. According to Nepple, the youngest was 2 years old. All kids received a gift bag with lures and candy. Prizes were awarded to the child who caught the biggest fish, smallest fish and most fish. The youngest angler and the one who traveled the farthest also received awards.

Six-year-old Sawyer of Bismarck, N.D. was visiting family in Akeley. She participated in the kids' fishing contest with some success.
Shannon Geisen / Enterprise
Families from Nevis and Akeley enjoyed free games, live music, food and a chance to visit with emergency personnel.
The annual National Night Out, an effort to build relationships between neighbors and police, will kick off at the Paul Bunyan Patio in Akeley on Tuesday, Aug. 2, beginning at 4:30 p.m. with kids’ games, face painting and free snow cones.
Filing for local races for mayor, city council and school board is open Aug. 2-16.
Many events for family fun are planned for the 73rd annual Paul Bunyan Days on June 24-26.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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