Buckley, Washington is a quiet town of 4,500 people 51 weekends per year, but every last weekend in June the town is a buzz with celebration for its humble logging routes. In 1973 a group of loggers and a few businessmen who were involved with the “Old Timers Week” held the inaugural “Buckley Loggers Rodeo”. With continued support from local business and the growth of committee membership the name was officially changed to the “Buckley Log Show”.
The Log Show has since evolved from a rodeo to an industry competition, allowing current and former loggers to showcase their talents. Two donated spar poles were raised behind the then Viz’s Drive Inn, and a pond was dug and filled with water for log rolling. A few other events were added including a tug-of-war over the pond, a carpenter’s nail drive, and a truck driving competition. The show now has 19 events, which include a Crew Relay and the ever-entertaining Obstacle Choker Setting.
Buckley and Enumclaw have a long standing rivalry in everything from sports, school spirit, and business, but for the one weekend in June, there is a mutual “cease fire” and the two towns, both of which that were literally built from timber, enjoy the gladiator-esque competition. Even though Gamblin Motors is from across the river, we have proudly supported the Buckley Log Show for over 10 years with donations, advertising and of course, trucks. The Gamblins and many other families within our dealership look forward to that final weekend in June where they get to support and celebrate the industry that gave birth to this beautiful part of the country.
Founders of the Log Show include Ron Brannon, John Blanusa, Ron Bowen, Ron Kunz, and Gordon Juhl. Long time members Elmer Timmons and Gene & Karen Rawson have been overseeing the show and seeing its successful completion for many, many years.
The show was originally held at the grounds behind Viz’s until 1990. The audience continued to grow each year, so the show was moved to its current location in front of Week’s Funeral Home and the National Guard. Several improvements have been and continue to be made each year. During its first years, beer was sold out of a horse trailer that was donated by Leon Wickizer. Since then, a beer garden has been built and expanded several times, which always seems to draw a big crowd, rain or shine.
Another very proud, respected and long standing tradition that the Buckley Log show has is honoring retired loggers with the “Bull of the Woods” Award. The recipient is honored at a dinner with a biography of their life, their time in the timber industry and their involvement with the show. In addition, each of the past and present “Bulls” have a reserved spot in front of the announcer’s booth during the show, so spectators can pull up a stump and share a memory or two.