Dave Pike, foreground, Craig Parks and Recreation Department director, and Jeremy Sanders, city parks supervisor, scope out Loudy-Simpson Park Wednesday afternoon in preparation for Whittle the Wood Rendezvous. The four-day event is scheduled to kick off June 13 at its new location and includes a chainsaw carving competition, free concerts and an arts and crafts fair.

Photo by Bridget Manley

Dave Pike, foreground, Craig Parks and Recreation Department director, and Jeremy Sanders, city parks supervisor, scope out Loudy-Simpson Park Wednesday afternoon in preparation for Whittle the Wood Rendezvous. The four-day event is scheduled to kick off June 13 at its new location and includes a chainsaw carving competition, free concerts and an arts and crafts fair.

Whittle on the way: Craig preparing for annual summer event

Advertisement

photo

A wood carving from a past Whittle the Wood Rendezvous stands in Loudy-Simpson Park, the venue for this year’s annual event. As of Wednesday, 12 participants, including newcomers from Ohio, California and Missouri, were entered in the chainsaw carving competition.

Whittle the Wood Rendezvous schedule of events:

June 13 and 14

• 9 a.m. to dusk: Entrants compete in annual wood carving competitions; carving area open for viewing

June 15.

• 9 a.m. to dusk: Entrants compete in annual wood carving competitions; carving area open for viewing

• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. “The Tropical Coyotes” performs in a free concert. A beer garden opens at 5 p.m.

June 16

• 7:30 a.m. Registration opens for “Wake the Whittler,” a 5K walk/run and mile-long fun run to benefit Friends of Moffat County Education. The race begins at 8 a.m. Participants can pre-register at Craig Parks and Recreation, 300 W. Fourth St.

• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Entrants compete in annual wood carving competitions; carving area open for viewing

• 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A free shuttle service departs for Loudy-Simpson Park every 30 minutes from the following locations:

— OP Bar & Grill, 534 E. Victory Way

— J.W. Snack’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. Victory Way

— Mathers’ Lounge & Café, 420 Yampa Ave.

— Kmart parking lot, 1198 W. Victory Way.

• 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. A free arts and crafts fair takes place, featuring food vendors and a beer garden.

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Bear River Young Life and Colorado Cruisers car and motorcycle show takes place in the 400 and 500 blocks of Yampa Avenue in downtown Craig.

• 3 p.m. “Fire and Rain: The James Taylor Experience” performs in a free concert

• 4 p.m. A silent auction closes for wood carvings created in the competition.

• 5 p.m. Winners in the wood carving competition will be announced

• 5:30 p.m. “Alter Eagles: The Definitive Eagles Tribute” performs in a free concert.

— Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St. For more information, call 826-2029 or visit www.whittlethewoo...

Dave Pike, Craig Parks and Recreation director, scanned Loudy-Simpson Park on Wednesday afternoon.

He was trying to imagine what the grassy lawns would look like with a stage, arts and craft booths, wood carvers and anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people who turn out for the final day of the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous.

Hosting one of the city’s biggest events at a new location posed challenges to Pike and his staff.

“When we were at City Park (now known as Veterans Memorial Park), we’d done it so many years in a row that it kind of ran like clockwork for us,” he said.

A wood-carving competition headlines the four-day event as competitors from around the region and nation transform wood stumps into sculptures that sell to the highest bidder at an auction June 16. Free concerts, beer gardens, a car show in downtown Craig and an arts and craft fair round out the weekend.

City officials worked with their counterparts at Moffat County to move Whittle the Wood in the wake of deteriorating negations between the Craig City Council and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 regarding Veterans Memorial Park.

The city officially announced the venue change in January, and Pike believes Loudy-Simpson Park is a good fit for the event.

“There’s more room,” he said. “It’s shady. Loudy Simpson’s a beautiful park. As far as that goes, you couldn’t ask for a better venue.”

The park’s distance from downtown Craig is a potential drawback, as attendees often walked to the event in the past, but Pike hopes a free shuttle service will help offset the disadvantage.

Shuttles run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 16, departing every 30 minutes from locations around Craig.

A Triple Crown baseball game is scheduled to take place at Loudy-Simpson Park during Whittle the Wood weekend, so “parking will be at a premium out there,” Pike said.

A new location isn’t the only change to Whittle the Wood this year. The schedule includes an additional free concert set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 15.

Attendees are prohibited from bringing alcohol to the event, but beer gardens will be provided June 15 and 16.

The rendezvous’ final day also will include the first “Wake the Whittler,” a 5K walk/run and mile-long family fun run.

The race starts at 8 a.m. at Loudy-Simpson Park, and registration opens at 7:30 a.m.

Participants can pre-register at the Craig Parks and Recreation Department, 300 W. Fourth St.

Adult registration costs $20, but participants who sign up before Monday pay $15. Registration for children costs $5.

All proceeds benefit Friends of Moffat County Education, a nonprofit community organization designed to help raise money for educational projects.

Attendees also can expect to find familiar events, including the Bear River Young Life and Colorado Cruisers car and motorcycle show set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 400 and 500 blocks of Yampa Avenue in downtown Craig.

On average, the car show raises about $3,000 annually for Young Life, and the proceeds help pay for camp scholarships, said David Pressgrove, Bear River Young Life area director.

During the past two years, the show has garnered about 120 entries, including a few “pretty cool looking” cars built from the ground up, he said.

The show concludes with a poker run where, for a $10 entry fee, participants can try to land a lucky hand.

Pressgrove believes the activities scheduled during Whittle the Wood make for a notable weekend.

“It’s just a fun weekend to be out and about in Craig,” he said.

Comments

Ray Cartwright 2 years, 2 months ago

To bad we have a grand poobaa at the VFW with an egotistical attitude that they couldn't have come to some aggreement on the park so Whittle could continue on as normal. I feel that the move to Loudy is going to be a headache for the public access.

0

lonelyone 2 years, 2 months ago

I thought this move had nothing to do with problems between the VFW and the City over the park. I thought I read in the paper when all this started being a problem between the two, that Whittle The Woods was being moved because it had simply out grown the park?? Now you are saying different?

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.