Bigfoot Jamboree Parade

The Karuk Tribe’s float.

The Dear Mad’m Cabin

Sunday, the highlight of the Bigfoot Jamboree was the Parade. The theme was “The Heritage of Happy Camp.”

Double J and ABC Logging worked together on the number #1 commercial float. Elk Creek Campground came in 2nd in the commercial entries with a little cabin with Charlotte as Stella Patterson, and “DearSir” and “UpandUp” along. These characters are from Stella Patterson’s book of memoirs, Dear Mad’m.

Organizations were also in full swing. Family Resource Center was 1st place, Tom White on horseback with his POW flag was 2nd, and Smokey and the Forest Service won 3rd place in Organizations.

Bigfoot was especially energetic this time and even got into a tussle with some of the men, and he was 1st in the Individual category. Tom and Linda Seals in their 1923 T-bucket roadster came in 2nd and Katlynn Driskell with Charlene, Paul and Jim Driskell were third place.

The Grand Prize went to the Karuk Dancers. Grand Prize winning Karuk Dancers float were Shauniece Polmateer and Stormy Polmateer, Mikala Polmateer, Mac Polmateer, Jay Jay Reed, Charley Reed, Jason Reed, Rony Reed and David Arwood.

Judges were Buster Attebery, Jordon Blackford and Carol Day. The Grand Marshall was Don Zink.


  • Vern Andrews

    George Swem, one of the original founders of the Bigfoot Jamboree Died Sep. 7, 2009 in Medford.
    George’s father and mother were Norman and Lillian Swem. He had two sisters: Norma and Barbara who preceded him in death. He has one brother: Norman who lives in Pennsylvania. He is also survived by three sons: Vern, Mike and Neil and two daughters: Linda and Colleen and numerous grandchildren and great-granchildren.
    He moved to Happy Camp in 1959 with his new wife Luella and Vern and Linda. George worked as a logger before he opened the 76 Union Station and Tire shop in 1960. After selling the staion, he and Luella bought and opened Swem’s Mobile Home Court, running that business until 1969. In 1966, they opened the G & L Tire and Retread shop, owning that business until March of 2003.
    George and Luella along with another couple were instrumental in forming the Bigfoot Jamboree. He was a lifetime member of the Elk’s Lodge and a member of the Lions Club and the Happy Camp Square Dance Club.
    George loved to travel and fish, especially to Alaska, where he traveled several times with the love of his life, Luella. He also had a love of tinkering. He even built a trailer with hydrolics to haul their Subaru and a Carolina Skiff flat bottom boat over the car.

    • Dear Vern, We are about to celebrate the 50th year of the Bigfoot Jamboree in Happy Camp and appreciated the information you provided back in 2010 about George Swem who was one of the original founders when the Happy Camp Square Dance began the event. Are you a relative of George? I have a photo George gave me of Lillian, I believe, painting that he allowed me to use in Happy Camp News years ago–or was it Luella. I’ve forgotten, I’ll have to see if I can locate it and make sure!!

  • Barbara Land

    The parade sounds wonderful. I wish I could have been there to see it. I have a son, daughter-in-law & grandkids who live there. Happy Camp is beautiful.
    My son, has a friend who’s Karuk and he had him make a necklace for me. It’s big and beautiful & I will always treasure it. As I told my son, Ken, “The necklace is total perfection”. All the work that went into it is amazing. I’ll always treasure it.
    Barbara Land
    Ukiah, CA

  • Barbara Land

    When I come there again I definitely want to get a picture of the wonderful guy who made the necklace for me.
    It’s really special!!
    Barbara Land,
    Ukiah, CA

  • the Bigfoot Jamboree was the Parade!

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