Musical acts, carver creativity boost Whittle the Wood as event weathers on
19th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous schedule of eventsWednesday9 a.m. Carving beginsThursday9 a.m. Carving continuesFriday9 a.m. Carving continuesAll day Arts and crafts and food vendors, beer garden4:30 p.m. Performance by River City Band5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Bear River Young Life barbecue and car cruise, starts at Yampa Valley Bank6:30 p.m. Performance by BucksteinSaturday8 a.m. Wake the Whittler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run9 a.m. Carving continues9 a.m. Pirates of the Yampa River Race, starts at Loudy-Simpson Park boat rampAll day Arts and crafts and food vendors, beer garden10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bear River Young Life Car Show and Fundraiser on Yampa Avenue11:30 a.m. Pirates of the Yampa Poker Run, starts at Pebble Beach1 p.m. Quick Carve Competition1 p.m. Thunder Rolls Bowling Center and Sizzling Pickle cornhole tournament3 p.m. Performance by Movers & Shakers5 p.m. Carving winners announced5:30 p.m. Performance by Big Head Todd and the Monsters— All events take place at Loudy-Simpson Park unless otherwise noted. A $10 cover charge at the gate for Saturday’s events is included for ages 13 and older. 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 car show, the Safeway parking lot, the former Country Mall lot and the corner of Ranney and First Street. For more information, visit whittlethewood.com or follow the event on social media at Facebook.com/whittlethewood.
A cursed pirate, a Hollywood legend and a collection of marine life — some unusual sights are on display at Loudy-Simpson Park as the 19th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous continues.
The showcase of woodcarving talent brings with it a gamut of creativity each year and this summer is no exception, despite some tumultuous weather that nearly threatened the fun.
Heavy winds Thursday evening hit the park, though organizer Dave Pike said the carvings that were in progress were not affected thanks to being secured to the ground.
Still, two trees in the park blew over from the brief maelstrom.
“We really had a microburst there,” Pike said.
Whittle the Wood utilized multiple types of trees for the stumps, including poplar, maple and elm for the event, which began Wednesday.
o Stump 1, Robert Lyon — Forest animals
o Stump 2, Bongo Love — Giraffes
o Stump 3, Joe Srholez — Mythical phoenix
o Stump 4, Matt Ounsworth — Fisherman and fish
o Stump 5, Justine Park — Feathers
o Stump 6, Chad Stratton — Fish habitat
o Stump 7, Doug Moreland — Native American
o Stump 8, Ken Braun — Davy Jones from “Pirates of the Caribbean”
o Stump 9, Joe Wenal — Gene Kelly from “Singin’ in the Rain”
o Stump 10, Damon Gorecki — Eagle bench
o Stump 11, Jim Valentine — Marine life
Carvers made quick work of the logs, some of whom were nearly done as of Friday afternoon, taking the opportunity to interact with the crowd and also enjoy the live music with local group River City Band taking the stage — with a repertoire that ranged from classic rock to reggae — followed by Front Range country rocker Buckstein.
Joe Wenal had mostly wrapped up his recreation of Gene Kelly’s lamppost scene from “Singin’ in the Rain.”
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what it looks like placed somewhere in town.”
Carvers will be able to put the final touches on their pieces Saturday, as well as competing in the half-hour Quick Carve event as judges scrutinize their big works for the big prizes.
Meanwhile, happenings like the Wake the Whittle 5K, cornhole tournament, food and crafts vendors and music from opener The Movers & Shakers and headliner Big Head Todd and the Monsters will keep spectators entertained.
Pike said advance ticket sales for the final day exceeded 1,600, and he expects it to be a big finish.
“We’ve just got to hope for no rain,” he said.
Cowboy caricature: Whittle the Wood Stump 3’s Jim Valentine adds Western theme to list of ever-changing carving subjects
The traditional depiction of the American cowboy is chiseled features with a grizzled finish. Whittle the Wood carver Jim Valentine took those usual expectations and went in a somewhat different way.