North Star Expo

Unfortunately, this year’s North Star Expo has been canceled.

 

Over the last several weeks, we’ve had numerous conversations with our stakeholders, including members, vendors, Itasca County officials, and more about holding this year’s event.  Most—if not all—expressed a desire to hold the event this year.  But many also shared concerns in light of the COVID pandemic. 

 

Current state guidelines would limit attendance to 250 people at a time, including vendors and volunteers.  We typically have between 175 vendors and volunteers on-site before we open the gates. 

 

Restricting attendance would be unmanageable for several reasons, including the fact that we want to give our vendors maximum exposure to as many clients and potential clients as possible.  Limiting attendance to 250 wouldn’t allow that.

 

The Expo is a great event – and we plan to be back next year, September 17 and 18, 2021 – so please mark your calendars!  

Vendor information on how to register will be available Spring, 2021.  The vendor packet will be substantially similar to the 2020 packet, viewable at right.

 

Below are pictures from the 2019 event.  We look forward to seeing you in Grand Rapids in September, 2021!

2020

 North Star Expo Vendor Packet

The big machines at the Expo are always great for a photo op with the men in your life!

More than 200 high school students participated in the Future Forest Stewards at this year’s Expo, which included a visit to a live harvest just north of Grand Rapids. Here, logger Scott Pittack, who conducted the harvest, shows the students the head of his cut-to-length processor. Future Forest Stewards is designed to teach the importance of forest management in our state and the job opportunities in logging in our region.

Northland high school students watching the harvest demonstration as part of the Future Forest Stewards program.

2019 Celebrity Loader Contest Contestants (L-R): Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls), Bigfork teacher Stu Ostendorf, WDIO-TV reporter Emily Ness, Louisiana Pacific forester Brian Gulseth, and PotlatchDeltic forester Eric Olson. Ostendorf was attending the Expo as part of the Future Forest Stewards program and took top honors.

In the competition for Best Outdoor Display Laona Machine captured the Blue Ribbon. Metsa Machines was the runner-up, while the Pomp’s Tire display was third.

Loren Haverinen and his son pose with the winning load of red pine in this year’s Best Load competition, claiming the first prize of $500. PotlatchDeltic sponsored the load. Rieger Logging’s entry was second, with Fletcher Trucking and Pelland Logging tying for third.

In the Best Indoor Booth competition, Fleet Pride took top honors. LVI Supply and Digital Wood Carver rounded out the top three.

In the Best Display—Large Equipment competition, the team at Ziegler Cat won the Blue Ribbon. McCoy Equipment took second place, while Road Machinery finished third.

After displays closed for the day on Friday, loggers and vendors re-convened at the TimberLake Lodge for a reception with a cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres. It was a chance to enjoy great people, great food and drink, and some pretty good door prizes, too!

After displays closed for the day on Friday, loggers and vendors re-convened at the TimberLake Lodge for a reception with a cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres. It was a chance to enjoy great people, great food and drink, and some pretty good door prizes, too!

After displays closed for the day on Friday, loggers and vendors re-convened at the TimberLake Lodge for a reception with a cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres. It was a chance to enjoy great people, great food and drink, and some pretty good door prizes, too!

Shawn Fletcher of Brainerd (right) won a Browning 308 rifle, donated by Erik Lunemann of Lunemann Equipment, in the door prize drawing at the Expo's Friday Night Reception

Ziegler Cat to the Rescue! Rain caused a variety of hassles at this year’s Expo. When one of the best load entries got stuck in the soggy south end of the Fairgrounds, Ziegler Cat had a 535D skidder on display that they drove over to assist and pulling the truck back to the blacktop. To paraphrase the song, it’s good to get a little help from your friends. Thanks, Ziegler Cat!

What’s the favorite kind of pancakes and coffee for Expo attendees? The free kind served by the folks at McCoy Equipment and Forestry. This Expo tradition was again the perfect way to start Saturday morning at the Itasca County Fairgrounds.

What’s the favorite kind of pancakes and coffee for Expo attendees? The free kind served by the folks at McCoy Equipment and Forestry. This Expo tradition was again the perfect way to start Saturday morning at the Itasca County Fairgrounds.

Claire Lucking of Pierz (above left) took home the blue ribbon in the 7-9 year old division of the 2019 Expo Coloring Contest.

This year’s Loader Contest, Matt Lundberg (top) of Solway returned to the top of the leader board, earning the $100 first prize. Matt had won every year from 2009 through 2017 before being unseated last year. His brother Kyle (middle) finished second, while James Hooker rounded out the top three. Matt’s and Kyle’s father Dan Lundberg (bottom) captured the Masters Division.

In anticipation of this year’s chilly, damp weather, Compeer Financial was ready to help Expo attendees stay warm with a bonfire, as well as marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars for s’mores. Great idea, Compeer!

Loggers weren’t the only ones checking out new machines at this year’s Expo.

This little fella found a great place to rest his legs while checking out the big machines at the Expo.

© 2014 by Minnesota Timber Producers Association. All rights reserved.

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