Minnesota’s biggest logging equipment show is returning to Itasca County.

The 65th Annual North Star Expo opens Friday, Sept. 14 at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids. Admission to the two-day event is free. The Expo features more than 100 exhibitors, including more than $15 million in the latest logging, trucking, and sawmill equipment and technology.

Loggers, vendors, and timber industry representatives from Minnesota and around the Upper Midwest will attend, as well as lawmakers, policy makers, and other stakeholders from around the state, making the Expo “the Great Minnesota Logging Get-together.”

“Grand Rapids is a tremendous setting for the Expo,” said logger Chad Lovdahl, chair of the North Star Expo’s organizing committee. “The Itasca County Fairgrounds is a beautiful location, with all of the tall pine trees. It’s fun to see folks from the logging community coming together in one spot each year. It’ll be a great weekend, and we’re looking forward to another big North Star Expo.”

The 2018 Expo will not only include equipment displays from the world’s top manufacturers, but also contests that allow participants to show off their skills and knowledge of the logging business, including the Loader and Master Loader Contests. Other competitions include Biggest Cookie, and “Guess the Weight.”

The forest products industry impacts Minnesota’s economy to the tune of $9.1 billion each year. It all starts with Minnesota’s professional loggers, who not only provide jobs, as well as the wood for paper and building products we all use and need, but who are also on the front lines of sustainably managing our lush forests, ensuring we’ll be able to enjoy the wide variety of activities—hunting, camping, hiking, fishing, bird watching, berry picking, and so many more—for generations to come.

The Minnesota Timber Producers Association is the state’s largest trade organization that represents loggers, truckers, sawmills, and allied businesses. The North Star Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday Sept. 14 and continues on Saturday Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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