Craig’s Whittle the Wood revving into action | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig’s Whittle the Wood revving into action

Four-day annual event also features car show, art gallery, live music

Craig's biggest annual event starts this week, and appropriately enough for a gathering that involves trees, it will be branching out a bit.

The 17th annual Whittle the Wood RendezvousWhittle the Wood Rendezvous runs Wednesday through Saturday in Loudy-Simpson Park as a dozen chainsaw-wielding talents each come to town to turn a stump into a work of art, possibly pick up a cash prize and provide some unique entertainment to spectators. runs Wednesday through Saturday in Loudy-Simpson Park as a dozen chainsaw-wielding talents each come to town to turn a stump into a work of art, possibly pick up a cash prize and provide some unique entertainment to spectators.

Whittle the Wood Rendezvous runs Wednesday through Saturday in Loudy-Simpson Park as a dozen chainsaw-wielding talents each come to town to turn a stump into a work of art, possibly pick up a cash prize and provide some unique entertainment to spectators.

17th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous schedule of events

Wednesday

9 a.m. Carving begins

Thursday

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9 a.m. Carving continues

3 to 7 p.m. Opening reception for Galleria at the Park Art Show

Friday

9 a.m. Carving continues

All day Arts and crafts and food vendors

Noon to 7 p.m. Galleria at the Park Art Show

4:30 p.m. Performance by River City Band

5:30 to 7 p.m. Bear River Young Life barbecue and car cruise, starts at Yampa Valley Bank

6:30 p.m. Performance by Wendy Woo Band

Saturday — $5 per person (kids 12 and under are free)

8 a.m. Fifth annual Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run ($20 for adults, free to ages 17 and younger.)

9 a.m. Carving continues

All day Arts and crafts and food vendors, beer garden

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Galleria at the Park Art Show

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 12th annual Bear River Young Life Car Show and Fundraiser on Yampa Avenue

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Grand Futures Prevention Coalition Slip 'n Slide kickball tournament (Free registration)

1 to 2 p.m. Quick Carve Competition

3 p.m. Performance by Trail

5 p.m. Carving winners announced

5:30 p.m. Performance by The Subdudes

— A $5 cover charge for Saturday's events in the park is included this year, with wristbands available in advance at City Hall through Friday. Presale deals can be bought at Craig City Hall and include four for $15. Children 12 and under are free. The 5K, kickball tournament and car show are separate from the rest of the Saturday activities. Coolers are allowed but not alcohol. No pets or bicycles will be allowed in the park. A shuttle is available every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday from The O.P. Bar & Grill, JW Snack's, Mathers Bar and Kmart. For more information, visit whittlethewood.com or follow the event on social media at Facebook.com/whittlethewood or Twitter.com/WhittletheWood using #WTW2016.

A change from previous years is in the adding of a general admission $5 cover charge for Saturday's activities.

Organizer Dave Pike said the decision was a tough one to make but necessary. Overall, the event runs about $50,000, though about half of that is recouped in sponsorships.

"City Council thought it would be a little more prudent if we tried to recover a little more of the costs, and even with the $5 cover, I don't think we'll break even, but it will sure help a lot," he said.

Wristbands for the event are on sale at Craig City Hall in advance through Friday, and a pack of four is available for $15. There is no charge for kids 12 and under.

Pike said he believes people will still get their money's worth, and the four-day carving competition that has seen the creation of many of Craig's favorite decorations across town is only part of the schedule.

While carvers from around the country slice into the logs — purchased from both east and west of Craig, from Walden and Duchesne, Utah — that will make up their masterpieces, a corner of Loudy-Simpson will be devoted to others in the art community. The inaugural Yampa Valley Artisans' Galleria at the Park, kicking off with a free Thursday reception to display local creative talent, a feature which will run Friday and Saturday as well.

Friday will see the influx of vendors setting up in the park selling arts and crafts, as well as specialty foods, and as the carving entries start to take form, the energy shifts to the stage in the late afternoon as a pair of musical acts take the stage, starting with Northwest Colorado's own River City Band, consisting of Craig's Danny Griffith and Anthony Tremaine and Meeker's Dave Stewart, described by Griffith as "a bunch of old rockers, just enjoying what we're doing."

Following them will be Denver's Wendy Woo Band, boasting a "poly-ethnic, power pop" sound, according to its namesake.

"We try to make it a fun dance-fest for an hour-and-a-half," Woo said. "A lot of people can relate to the lyrics and relate to the groove."

Amid the rock music and wood sculptures, Friday will also contain a bit of heavy metal with the kickoff to the Bear River Young Life Car Show, a barbecue at Yampa Valley Bank with classic autos on display followed by a cruise along Craig streets, looping around both Loudy-Simpson and Craig City Park.

Saturday is the big day, starting with the Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run hosted by Friends of Moffat County Education in the quiet of the early morning.

The silence won't last long as carvers get out their tools to complete their entries in time for the deadline and also show their skills on a smaller scale with the one-hour Quick Carve Competition.

Meanwhile, the festival goes on both at the park with the vendors and a beer garden, on the softball fields with the Grand Futures Prevention Coalition Slip 'n Slide kickball tournament for middle school and high school ages and downtown Craig as the car show rolls out its full fleet along the 400 and 500 blocks of Yampa Avenue.

Both parts of town will be accessible with shuttles that run throughout the day twice hourly from downtown to Loudy-Simpson, but spectators will want to be back among the grass in the afternoon for the early show provided by Front Range country band Trail, who will also be performing both Friday and Saturday night at JW Snack's.

Following that will be the announcement of the carving winners as the stars of the week get one last honor, leading up to the musical finale by headlining band The Subdudes, whose music has encompassed genres such as American folk, swamp pop, zydeco, funk, soul, gospel and rhythm and blues.

Though the band traces their origins to New Orleans — featured in the Big Easy-centric HBO series "Treme" — they've had a great deal of success operating out of Colorado, also having appeared at venues in Steamboat Springs over the years.

Over the years, Whittle the Wood has attracted many big names such as Blue Öyster Cult and Jefferson Starship as headlining groups, and the members of The Subdudes are up to the challenge of putting on a memorable show.

"We've got a little bit more soulful sound, and I don't know if we rock as much, but we still get down," said bassist Tim Cook.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

17th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous schedule of events

Wednesday

9 a.m. Carving begins

Thursday

9 a.m. Carving continues

3 to 7 p.m. Opening reception for Galleria at the Park Art Show

Friday

9 a.m. Carving continues

All day Arts and crafts and food vendors

Noon to 7 p.m. Galleria at the Park Art Show

4:30 p.m. Performance by River City Band

5:30 to 7 p.m. Bear River Young Life barbecue and car cruise, starts at Yampa Valley Bank

6:30 p.m. Performance by Wendy Woo Band

Saturday — $5 per person (kids 12 and under are free)

8 a.m. Fifth annual Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run ($20 for adults, free to ages 17 and younger.)

9 a.m. Carving continues

All day Arts and crafts and food vendors, beer garden

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Galleria at the Park Art Show

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 12th annual Bear River Young Life Car Show and Fundraiser on Yampa Avenue

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Grand Futures Prevention Coalition Slip ‘n Slide kickball tournament (Free registration)

1 to 2 p.m. Quick Carve Competition

3 p.m. Performance by Trail

5 p.m. Carving winners announced

5:30 p.m. Performance by The Subdudes

— A $5 cover charge for Saturday’s events in the park is included this year, with wristbands available in advance at City Hall through Friday. Presale deals can be bought at Craig City Hall and include four for $15. Children 12 and under are free. The 5K, kickball tournament and car show are separate from the rest of the Saturday activities. Coolers are allowed but not alcohol. No pets or bicycles will be allowed in the park. A shuttle is available every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday from The O.P. Bar & Grill, JW Snack’s, Mathers Bar and Kmart. For more information, visit whittlethewood.com or follow the event on social media at Facebook.com/whittlethewood or Twitter.com/WhittletheWood using #WTW2016.