Stillwater festival finalists will present their proposals

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 12, 2013 - 4:42 PM

Three festival promoters chosen as finalists in a quest to replace Stillwater’s soured Lumberjack Days will present their proposals to the City Council on Tuesday.

FILO Productions Inc., Genius of Fun Events and Mid-America Festivals Corp. were chosen by a selection committee to produce a possible festival in July, although the City Council hasn’t voted to do so. All three finalists have experience promoting large events and, in their proposals, described events Stillwater might expect at a new riverfront celebration.

Lumberjack Days fell apart in 2011 after complaints to police over unpaid bills and mounting dissatisfaction among some Stillwater residents that the regional festival had grown too big and rowdy. The City Council terminated its contract with David Eckberg and his company, St. Croix Events, and declared a moratorium on summer festivals.

Eckberg was charged in November 2012 with 10 felony counts of theft by check and issuing worthless checks. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 28.

FILO Productions of St. Paul listed clients such as the Minnesota Twins, the Los Angeles Lakers and the National Basketball Association. FILO currently is producing two local festivals, St. Paul Germanfest and Twin Cities Burger Battle. FILO proposed naming a new festival either “River Jam” or “Sawmill Days.”

Genius of Fun Events, owned by Woody McBride, a disc jockey at First Avenue in Minneapolis, offered “Spirit of Stillwater” as a new name for the festival. McBride has produced several festivals in the St. Croix Valley in recent years, including at Franconia Sculpture Park just north of Scandia.

Mid-America, which produces Renaissance Festivals in Shakopee and other states, proposes a new name of “Stillwater River City Days.” The company, formed in 1976, drew more than 300,000 people to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival last year, according to its proposal.

The City Council’s special meeting to hear proposals will begin at 4:30 p.m.

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