Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous 2002 / Summary
The Ridgway Chainsaw Carving
Rendezvous in its third year as a Charitable carving event hosted 97
chainsaw carvers from across the Country and around the world. Carvers
from fourteen states as far away as Oregon, Maine and Florida
participated. This year carvers from Japan, England, Scotland, Germany
and Canada joined in the weekend carving festivities. Over $20,000 was
generated for charitable donations. Monies were set aside for next
year's event and also contributions were made towards the carving
community in the form of aid and general chainsaw carving promotion.
Most Carvers who have attended the Rendezvous would agree that
it’s a mind-altering experience to participate and carve at this event.
The international guests arrive through the week as well as other early
birds to help with preparations. Carvers are lodged in local hotels, bed and breakfasts,
hunting camps and private homes. This year carvers were invited to an
open house Spaghetti dinner at the American Legion on Thursday where
invited guest Frank Garrison a member of the Survival Africa series
signed autographs and interacted with the carvers and public.
Friday night Carvers convened at the Ridgway Moose and shared in
a $10 a plate buffet. Local officials including the Mayor, YMCA director,
Make-A-Wish director and the Chief of Police, (who had composed a
Carvers Rendezvous song and enjoyed a standing ovation for his solo
guitar performance), all welcomed us to Ridgway. A local Scotsman then
warmed up the crowd with a powerful performance on his pipes. Carvers
and local musicians continued the entertainment with several guitars,
keyboards, banjo, and saxophone.
Carving actually began on Wednesday along with grounds
preparation and tent erection. With the snow going sideways our European
counterparts stayed warm by revealing some sound looking work with
chainsaws howling in the wind. Wayne our Ice Carving Engineer for the
third year running busied himself with expediting materials and
templates for this years wishing well. Each year a well is created with
attending sculptures and live fish. Lights and Music are added for
night- time viewing.
Thursday proved to be another full day of carving with the
Japanese fired up after a large breakfast at the Pennsey Restaurant. It
was nearing dark before anyone could get them to stop.
Along with the Ice Wishing well being created on Friday down town
on the Court House lawn several individual blocks were carved by first
timers and experienced ice carvers alike. A totem pole was also started
at the Rendezvous site. A three-foot diameter Poplar log was laid on
bunks and carvers took turns over the next four days to add a touch of
their talent to this international carvers pole, which was donated to
the American Legion and will stand in their yard along Route 219 for
Saturday started with a flag raising ceremony put on by the Boy
Scouts and a shared thanks from a local minister. The bag piping
Scotsman brought our blood to our hearts as he walked the length of the
field finally welcoming the morning. You have to see this for yourself
and you could never take it all in anyway. There is an ocean of
information going on around you all at once. The noise, the smells, the
eye candy appearing everywhere seemingly from nowhere.
What a stretch in concept and size and creations reaching in
every direction. Benches,
head boards, bird houses, eight foot bears, dragons and Samurai warriors
to Mr. Peanuts. With all
the odds pending on the auction, another three year veteran of the
Rendezvous, Doug Redding who comes from Gettysburg to help us every year
embellished the carvers efforts with his own brand of heroics.
A dinner was held for the carvers, their friends and sponsors in
the dining hall of the Royal Inn. Seven-year old Cody Peterson, assisted
by our local Make-A-Wish rep was guest speaker and brought the house
down in more ways than one. Fieldstone
and Friends, a local acoustic band added a blend of their talents to an
already charged atmosphere.
Sunday morning breakfast was served at the fire hall and carvers
unite for a last chance to exchange information. Carvers announced up
coming events and prizes were awarded for best hat and top carver at
auction. Names were drawn from a box to award the remaining donated
There are a hundred stories about the Rendezvous, everyone filled
with heroics and adventure. Every one filled with the rewards of
matching up to the challenge of being who we are. Every one, having a
moral to the story. You could take the next year and go around and talk
to the carvers and read about it in articles. You could look at all the
pictures and watch all the videos but you'll have to be in Ridgway at
the 2003 Ridgway Rendezvous and participate to even get a glimpse of
what's really happening.