The sawdust will be flying at the Eaton County Fairground in Charlotte, MI. May 31 through June 4, 2006, when 60 chainsaw carvers will converge upon this small town in central Michigan for the Inaugural International Great Lakes Chainsaw Sculptors' Competition and Conservation Expo.
These aren't your garden-variety carvers, carving square bears on the street corner; they are tried and true competitors from across the country and beyond, vying for $20,000 in cash and prizes for their astonishing artwork done with a chainsaw and finished with other power tools and chisels. There will be 10 places in the pro division, 5 places in the semi-pro division and 5 places in the senior division for the carvers over 60. There are some ladies carving in this event that will knock your socks off with what they can produce with a log, imagination and a sharp chainsaw. The artists will be selling their main pieces, so feel free to walk up when they aren't carving and broker a fine piece of art.
<< Dayton Scoggins carving his First Place winning eagle-dancer at the Reedsport, Oregon chainsaw carving competition, Father's Day weekend 2005.
Michigan's Great Outdoors
The theme for the event is Michigan's Great Outdoors; each carver will have 27 hours to complete their main piece, which will be judged using a very strict criteria. Carving begins at 8:00 am and stops at 5:00 pm on these four days. The Great Lakes Competition is one of five qualifying events across the country included in the Echo Carving Series. This series is a competition, ending the year with one of the best competitive carvers winning top national honors.
Quick Carving Competition
At 5:30 pm each day there will be an auction of the 75 minute Quick Carving produced by each of the participants. You can witness this amazing feat 11:00 am to 12:15 pm each day Wednesday through Saturday, just before the carvers break for lunch. This is also a competition within the judged competition. Your bidding on the pieces will determine the winners for each day; highest bid on a carving determines the winners in five different places. On Sunday we will tally up the winning auction prices and come up with five places for the overall Quick Carve competition.
Wood Fair Exhibits and Demos
This event will include numerous conservation organizations participating in a wood fair to educate and inform the public of current hot topics, such as urban wood usage and options for the ash trees being devastated by the emerald ash borer. There will be presentations on many different aspects of these topics in the Exhibition Hall, 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm Friday & Saturday and 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday.
Along with these groups will be many woodworkers of various types, including basket weavers, woodturners, flute and drum makers, furniture builders, rustic/log furniture builders, log home builders, canoe/kayak builders, hand carvers, wood burners and many other artists from different mediums demonstrating, displaying and selling their work. Hand carvers providing demos or visiting will find tools and supplies available from Belcher's Carving Supply. Chainsaw carving equipment will also be available for those looking for specialty items.
We have included artists from the Renaissance Festival, Ann Arbor Art Fair, East Lansing Art Festival and Wheatland Music Festival in an effort to diversify this event for everyone's taste.
Wildlife and Fishing Exhibits
Members of many of the wildlife and fishing organizations across the state will have booths and exhibits throughout the grounds. They will be a great inspiration for the carvers competing in the event. Bringing all of these resources together in one spot can only be the ingredients for a great time to be had by all those participating and the general public coming to witness this amazing event.
This event is free to the public. Parking is free, and there is a full-hookup campground for those of who don't want to miss a minute of the action.
For additional information about this event , campground rates and motel/hotel availability contact Event Coordinator Jim Madsen. A Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn are right in the area. The town of Charlotte, MI is one of the Cool Cities in Michigan, so come and stay awhile.