MARINETTE - For the third year, the Marinette Logging and Heritage Festival will be held on Stephenson Island this weekend.

This nonprofit event celebrates Marinette's beginnings as a lumber town.

"People are learning what Marinette is all about and that we have a heritage," said Judy Alwin, coordinator for the Logging and Heritage Festival. "Marinette is not just a name; it's our heritage and I think that's something people and kids need to learn like what our forefathers did for us. We all have to learn about our community and celebrate us."

The festivities will kick off with the free family movie "Chimpanzee" on the main stage at 9 tonight. The island will reopen at 11 a.m. Saturday for the day's activities including live entertainment, food and craft vendors. Fireworks will take place at dusk on the east side of the island. There will be inflatable bouncers, an ice cream giveaway and other activities for children.

"I love seeing people smile and having a good time and being together," Alwin said.

The highlighted events for Saturday are the All American Lumberjack Show and The Bassmeister fishing comedy show. Each will be featured several times over the weekend.

Local entertainment will be provided as well. "The Dang Its" will perform Saturday night with other local talents performing throughout both Saturday and Sunday.

Activities will continue Sunday after the parade at noon down Riverside Avenue.

"We wanted the parade down Riverside Avenue because we felt there was a lot of history down that street, a lot of our heritage took place there," Alwin said. "When I had to learn this history for the festival, it was amazing. I never knew a lot of things that happened in Marinette or who Isaac Stephenson was."

Judges for the parade are: Emily Matesic from WBAY TV Channel 2 in Green Bay; Dan Kitkowski, editor of the EagleHerald; Judy Krueger, Chamber Voyager; and Charlie Scoggins, local musician.

The Logging and Heritage Festival was put together with a lot of hard work and cooperation, according to Alwin.

"I love watching the beginning of setting up," she said. "It's that moment when you realize that all of your hard work is coming together."

She mentioned that her biggest challenge was getting everybody involved to cooperate and to realize that its impossible to completely satisfy everybody.

"I had to make them realize that putting this together is a lot of hard work and I can't please everybody," Alwin said. "But it all came together beautifully this year."

The festival is completely nonprofit with events run by volunteers and sponsors' donations go toward paying for the expenses such as entertainment, tents and advertising. The City of Marinette has paid for the children's inflatable bouncers, security and the fireworks display. Many nonprofit groups from the area use the festival to raise money for their causes.

"This event is important for the downtown area and the community as well," said Marinette Mayor Denise Ruleau. "It's another weekend where there's something fun to do for the family."

She thought people would enjoy the Bassmeister Fishing Comedy Show this year but she is looking forward to a different event.

"I like the lumberjack show," she said. "Everybody seemed to enjoy it last year and I thought it was great. There are lots of things to enjoy at the festival this year."

A shuttle will be available to take people from the M&M Plaza to Stephenson Island on Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For a schedule of events and for more information, people may visit www.loggingheritagefest.com.