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Dollywood Woodcarving Showcase
Pigeon Forge, TN



For the twelfth year Dollywood hosted the Dollywood Woodcarving Showcase on October 3 thru October 5, 2003. Carvers from 18 states came to compete, demonstrate and exhibit. On Friday 3 teams of 3 judges each selected the top carvings and in 3 different divisions 6 carvers were awarded the top "Best" honors. These same 9 judges also selected the TOP 25 carvings which were placed on display in a special exhibit. From this exhibit on Saturday the carvers selected the Carver's Choice award and the park's guests selected the People's Choice award

This show is very unique as it is located inside Dollywood theme park which is always alive with spectacular decorations. The beautiful Fall weather and trees starting to show their colors added to the festive weekend. On each of the 3 days a carving competition is held outside which gives the Park's guest a chance to observe and talk to the carvers. The carvers make difficult carving look easy.


Team Carve-Around

Friday afternoon featured for the second year the Team Carve-Around competition. Five teams were selected and each carver was given a roughout. After 15 minutes the carvings were passed to the left with each carver at the table getting his turn to carve on each roughout as he saw it. This produced some very interesting carvings! At the end of the event each team selected one carving to be judged. The winning team sharing the top prize money consisted of Joe Schumacher, Ernie Hill, Larry Nix and Ken Manning.


Whittling Contest

Saturday's main event was the Whittling Contest. Each carver was given a 2 x 2 x 2" block of basswood and was told to carve any subject of choice. The $100 first place went to Renee' Manning, $75 second to Gary Falin, $50 third place to Vic Hood, $35 fourth to Wayne Shinlever, $25 fifth to Joe Schumacher and $15 sixth place to Mike Jenkins.


Special Awards: Carvers' Choice, Peoples' Choice, Best Booth

Sunday morning Dollywood hosted the Awards Coffee. After Dollywood's famous pastries were served, the prize money was handed out and the winner of the Carver's Choice, Larry Nix, and the People's Choice, Jack Williams, were announced. (To see these carvings and other winners click on the Photo Gallery link below.)

During the show a mystery judge had visited with each table talking with each carver while judging Best Booth. The judging was based on originality, presentation of carvings, activity (such as demonstration) and interaction with the show visitors. Chip and Kathi Laudone were the winners of this year's award.


Great Pumkin Carving

The Great Pumpkin Carving Contest was the last event of the show held Sunday afternoon. Each carver was given a Dollywood home grown pumpkin and was to carve a subject of choice. This event proved to be exciting for the carvers as well as fun to watch by Dollywood's guests. The first place went to Hershal Borders, second to Renee' Manning and third to Joe Schumacher.


2004 Show Dates

October 1 thru October 3 are the dates of the thirteenth annual Dollywood Woodcarving Showcase. We are excited that the CCA National Caricature Carving Competition and Exhibit will be held at Dollywood starting September 24 and will be on display through October 30. This means there will be two woodcarving shows the same weekend. You will be able to experience the country's largest celebration of Southern Gospel Music and one of the Smokies' largest outdoor crafts festival with craftspeople from across the nation showcasing and demonstrating their talents. These Autumn artisans will demonstrate an unique array of skills ranging from traditional pioneer crafts born of necessity to innovative forms of artistry.

Dollywood is offering a special discounted three-day ticket to readers wishing to attend the 2004 Dollywood Woodcarving Showcase in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Available by mail only, this ticket includes all the attractions that are a part of regular Dollywood admission, including the National Caricature Carving Competition and Exhibit and the Harvest Celebration (except prize-winning games and celebrity concerts).

For complete information, contact: Jack or Carole Williams, 2621 Reagan Rd, Knoxville, TN 37931; (865)691-1855, carolejac@comcast.net.

The Winners: To visit the Photo Galleries, click HERE

Photos by Jack A. and Carole Williams