REEDSPORT — Forty carvers are traveling across the country and from around the world to compete in Reedsport this week.
This year is the 20th annual Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Carving Championships and it starts on Thursday, June 13 at 8 a.m. and goes until Sunday, June 16.
Of the carvers competing this Father’s Day weekend, one is from Argentina, another from Canada, three from Japan and two from Australia.
A competitors saws ready during the Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Carving Championship in Reedsport. Hundreds of spectators attended the four-day…
“We have representation from all over,” said Jennifer Rockwell, administrative assistant with the Reedsport Winchester Bay Chamber of Commerce. “This event means a lot to this community and the people who come. There is one gentleman who comes every year all the way from New Jersey.”
The tourist boost fills up hotels and restaurants, according to Rockwell who added that many of the visitors often make plans to come back.
“Some only hear of Reedsport when they hear of the event and it makes them want to come back when they see it,” she said.
Tickets to attend are $5 per person, though children six and under can attend for free. To see all four days and watch the carving progress, a four-day pass is $15. Tickets can be purchased at the event.
“Carvers have time to work on their main sculptures every day,” Rockwell said. “That’s how they’re judged and prizes are awarded on Sunday.”
However, every day the carvers also have 90 minutes to work on one or two quick carve pieces from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Later that day, there is a live auction featuring 40 unique pieces of carved art.
A competitor works Saturday in a round of speed carving during the Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Carving Championship in Reedsport.
Last year, Rockwell remembered a carved angel that was later donated to the Forest Hills Golf Course there in Reedsport.
“There have been neat pieces over the years,” she said. “There are always bears, those are standard, and eagles. One year there was an astronaut, and then a dinosaur that placed pretty high last year.”
But one of her favorites was a giraffe carved three years ago. It was so tall that the top of the tent had to be removed.
“There are a lot of returning carvers and some new ones,” Rockwell said. “There is a carver circuit where some go to events and then tell their friends about it. Word of mouth in that community is the most common way for them to find their way here.”
Other events happening over Father’s Day Weekend include a rock and gem show and sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There is also the Reedsport Volunteer Fire Department pancake feed on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and an art walk from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Then on Sunday at the Umpqua Discovery Center, all dads get in for free with their families.
“This is always on Father’s Day Weekend,” Rockwell said. “These are all great events.”