Whittle the Wood revs up Wednesday | CraigDailyPress.com

Whittle the Wood revs up Wednesday

Music, vendors, car show set for later in week

Tree trunks for Whittle the Wood carvers were placed at Loudy-Simpson Park on Tuesday. Carvers will start whittling early Wednesday morning.

— Wednesday marks the start of an event that's a cut above the rest in Craig.

The 15th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Loudy-Simpson Park as one dozen high-caliber wood carvers from across the country set up camp in the location and prepare to make their mark.

Wednesday’s tree lottery is the first of a series of days' worth or work — participating carvers will receive one of the 12 prepared logs provided by Craig Parks and Recreation and get to work designing a statue of their own design, be it a human likeness, flowers, animals or anything else their combination of imagination and artistic talent allows them to coax out of the wood.

Just as competitors' ideas take form throughout the course of a few days, so has the event itself grown and evolved each year in the planning by Craig Parks and Recreation.

"Some of it gets a little easier once you get it down to a science," Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike said. "The first few years, it was really chaotic."

The inaugural Rendezvous took place in Craig City Park in 1999, when carvers were tasked with turning a cluster of dead cottonwood tree leftovers into something more pleasing to the eye.

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The attendance was about 500, which at the time was considered outstanding by the city. As the fervor went on year by year, more people came out, with more than 5,000 last year; past entries covered the grounds of the park and other parts of town, a map of which is available at http://www.whittlethewood.com; and new ways of obtaining the trees in question were utilized.

Logs donated from local residents was one method, but Parks and Recreation organizers eventually decided to try different species of trees, as well as turn to lumber mills. This year's selection is a bundle of spruces coming from Encampment, Wyoming, at a rate of about $1,800 for the full dozen.

Pike said by purchasing from outlets like these, quality is assured, as is a uniformity that wasn't present in earlier years, when the luck of the draw gave an advantage to certain carvers because of a log's size and shape.

"I think it's more fair that way," he said.

Spectators are encouraged to watch carvers as they get started and continue to check in at Loudy-Simpson to see how their work is progressing, all days weather pending. Wednesday and Thursday will be focused purely on the carvers' early stages, but Whittle the Wood's larger events will begin Friday, with free admission and live music spread across two days by five different groups — including local band SandRock Sound, newly added to the schedule, and headliner Atlanta Rhythm Section on Saturday afternoon — in addition to the many food and crafts vendors, as well as a beer garden, throughout the park and Bear River Young Life's Car Show happening in conjunction in downtown Craig.

For more information on Whittle the Wood, visit http://www.CraigDailyPress.com for continued updates, as well as at http://www.facebook.com/whittlethewood and http://www.twitter.com/WhittletheWood.

15th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous

The event takes place Wednesday through Saturday, featuring 12 carvers from across the country. All events take place at Loudy-Simpson Park unless otherwise noted.

Schedule

Wednesday

9 a.m. to dusk — Tree lottery for carvers, followed by carving sessions all day

Thursday

9 a.m. to dusk — Carving all day

Friday

9 a.m. to dusk — Carving all day

1 p.m. — Performance by SandRock Sound

4 p.m. — Performance by Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts

6 p.m. — Performance by Madison Rising

7:30 p.m. — Car Show Cruise along Victory Way

Saturday

8 a.m. — Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run

9 a.m. — Final stages of carving

10 a.m. — Events begin, including arts and crafts fair, food and crafts vendors, a beer garden and a silent auction

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Bear River Young Life Car Show, downtown Craig

1 p.m. — Quick Carve Competition

3 p.m. — Performance by Tuscan Road

5 p.m. — Announcement of winning carvers

5:30 p.m. — Performance by Atlanta Rhythm Section

There is no admission for spectators at Whittle the Wood or the Car Show. Coolers are welcome at Whittle the Wood, but alcohol is not allowed beyond that provided at the beer garden. Free shuttles will be available all day during the Saturday activities of Whittle the Wood from The OP Bar and Grill, 534 E. Victory Way; Mathers' Bar, 420 Yampa Ave.; J.W. Snack's Bar & Grill, 210 E. Victory Way; and Kmart, 1198 W. Victory Way. For more information about Whittle the Wood, call 970-826-2029 or visit http://www.whittlethewood.com, http://www.facebook.com/…> or http://www.twitter.com/w…>. For more information about the Car Show's activities, which includes cash prizes for entrants and a poker walk for spectators, call 970-629-9600 or visit http://www.facebook.com/brylcarshow.

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

15th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous

The event takes place Wednesday through Saturday, featuring 12 carvers from across the country. All events take place at Loudy-Simpson Park unless otherwise noted.

Schedule

Wednesday

9 a.m. to dusk — Tree lottery for carvers, followed by carving sessions all day

Thursday

9 a.m. to dusk — Carving all day

Friday

9 a.m. to dusk — Carving all day

1 p.m. — Performance by SandRock Sound

4 p.m. — Performance by Dixie Leadfoot & The Chrome Struts

6 p.m. — Performance by Madison Rising

7:30 p.m. — Car Show Cruise along Victory Way

Saturday

8 a.m. — Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run

9 a.m. — Final stages of carving

10 a.m. — Events begin, including arts and crafts fair, food and crafts vendors, a beer garden and a silent auction

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Bear River Young Life Car Show, downtown Craig

1 p.m. — Quick Carve Competition

3 p.m. — Performance by Tuscan Road

5 p.m. — Announcement of winning carvers

5:30 p.m. — Performance by Atlanta Rhythm Section

There is no admission for spectators at Whittle the Wood or the Car Show. Coolers are welcome at Whittle the Wood, but alcohol is not allowed beyond that provided at the beer garden. Free shuttles will be available all day during the Saturday activities of Whittle the Wood from The OP Bar and Grill, 534 E. Victory Way; Mathers’ Bar, 420 Yampa Ave.; J.W. Snack’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. Victory Way; and Kmart, 1198 W. Victory Way. For more information about Whittle the Wood, call 970-826-2029 or visit http://www.whittlethewood.com, http://www.facebook.com/…> or http://www.twitter.com/w…>. For more information about the Car Show’s activities, which includes cash prizes for entrants and a poker walk for spectators, call 970-629-9600 or visit http://www.facebook.com/brylcarshow.