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Dollywood Woodcarving Showcase

Pigeon Forge, TN




Dollywood played host to the thirteenth editon of the Dollywood Woodcarving Showcase October1 thru October 3, 2004. Carvers from 18 states came to compete, demonstrate and exhibit. On that Friday three teams of three judges each selected the top carvings and in three different divisions six carvers were awarded the top "Best" honors. These same nine 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.

The Showcase is unique as it is located inside the Dollywood theme park, which is always alive with spectacular decorations. On each of the three days a carving competition is held which gives guests a chance to observe and talk to the carvers.


Team Carving Competition

Friday afternoon featured the second annual Team Carve competition. Five teams were selected and each member given a 2" square block of wood and directed to carve a ball. Each team selected a captain and the captains carved a ramp, down which each ball rolled was rolled and the distance the ball traveled was measured. The winning team sharing the top prize money consisted of Joe Schumacher, Wayne Shinlever, Ralph Moeller, Bruce Henn and Cliff Letty.


Whittling Contest

On Saturday came the main event - the Whittling Contest. Each participant was given a block of basswood and was told to carve a chain pull. The $100 first place went to Gary Falin, $75 second to Renee' Manning, $50 third place to Wayne Shinlever, $35 fourth to Bruce Henn, $25 fifth to Cliff Letty and $15 sixth place to Joe Shoemacher.

After a full day the carvers and their families enjoyed Dollywood's famous Tennessee home cooked dinner. Charlie Cooke and Mike Jenkins emceed at the Carvers Exchange and the drawing of the door prizes donated by Dollywood.


Awards Coffee

Sunday morning Dollywood hosted the Awards Coffee. After Dollywood's famous pastries were served, the prize money was handed out and the winners of the Carver's Choice award, Thu Nguyen, and the People's Choice award, Jim Wright, were announced. During the show a mystery judge had visited each table, talking with the carver while secretly judging Best Booth. The judging was based on originality, presentation of carvings, activity (such as demonstration) and interaction with the show visitors. Bill and Juanita Earley were the winners of this year's award.


Pumpkin Carving Contest

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 Renee' Manning, second to Vic Hood and third to Wayne Shinlever.


2005 Show Dates

September 30 thru October 2 are the dates of the Fourteenth Annual Dollywood Woodcarving Showcase. We are also excited that the 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. In addition you will be able to experience the country's largest celebration of Southern Gospel, Bluegrass and Country 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.


Showcase Winners Photo Galleries - click HERE

Photos by Jack A. and Carole Williams