Contests involving traditional lumberjack skills have been a popular part of the Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival. The festival board has announced that the event has been discontinued.
The Daily Review File Photo
Cypress Sawmill Festival discontinued
The Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival has been rained out again, this time indefinitely.
The festival’s board voted unanimously to call off the 2020 event with no plans to continue beyond this year, Chairman Jeff LaGrange confirmed Tuesday.
The move means Patterson will lose one of the Tri-City area’s major festivals, and the Wedell-Williams Aviation & Cypress Sawmill Museum will be without an event designed to support it.
The problem has been the weather over the last five or six years.
Last year, the weekend festival was called off when the Friday, April 4, flash flood pushed water into streets and threatened homes.
In 2018, a Saturday storm chased people away, and the mud at Kemper Williams Park kept them away when the weather cleared Sunday.
The 2017 festival was canceled in January that year. In a news release at the time, LaGrange cited the weather and a decline in revenue.
“We’ve had several years of rainouts,” LaGrange said Tuesday. “So many man-hours and volunteer hours and community donations went into it.”
Tough economic times in recent years also contributed, LaGrange said.
Festival founder David Bourdier, who was on the festival board until 2014, told The Daily Review in 2017 that organizing for the first Cypress Sawmill Festival began in 1990.
Bourdier envisioned it as a fundraiser for the museum and other local organizations, as well as a way to bring the community together for family entertainment in late March.
Organizers eventually moved the festival to the first weekend in April to have warmer weather.
Bourdier wanted the sawmill festival to promote Kemper Williams Park, too.
After the decision to halt the festival indefinitely, the board still must decide how to deal with assets and funds, LaGrange said.
“It brought the community together for a good cause,” LaGrange said. “The weather just didn’t cooperate.”
Patterson Mayor Rodney was sorry to see the festival go.
“Although it saddens me to hear such news,” Grogan said in an email, “I do support the decision of the leadership!”
KQKI reported that it hasn't yet decided when and where the annual KQKI Country Music Showdown will happen.