Ten professional wood carvers will be working on site this Friday and Saturday at Wood's Tall Timber Resort during the 4th-annual Wood Carving Competition. (Submitted photo)

New Philadelphia, Ohio - A special event being held this weekend at Wood’s Tall Timber Resort will showcase the expert craftsmanship of wood carvers from around the country.

The resort’s fourth-annual Wood Carving Competition begins Friday afternoon and continues through Saturday evening with professional wood carvers working on site throughout the weekend.

“We’ll have 10 professional wood carvers from around the United States that will be competing,” says resort Manager Jamie Herron. “We’ve got some people that are coming in from Indiana. We’ve got another one from New York. We’ve got ones from Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas.” 

The event kicks off at 2 p.m. on Friday with a three-hour quick carving event, and spectators are invited to watch as each artist transforms a 5-foot log into an intricate work of art.

Herron says each artist will also receive a 10-to-12-foot log about 22 inches in diameter that they will use to carve masterpiece sculptures. The carvers will have several hours after dinner on Friday and all day Saturday to complete their masterpieces before judging on Saturday evening. 

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top five finishers, and the completed pieces will be auctioned off to the highest bidder beginning at 7 p.m.

Herron says each artist will receive 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale of his or her masterpiece. Another 10 percent will go to the auctioneer, and the remaining 40 percent, plus the proceeds of a barbecue chicken dinner being held from 6 to 6:30 on Saturday, will be used to cover the cost of materials and cash prizes for the winners.

For the price of daily park admission, visitors will have an opportunity to watch the professional carvers at work. Admission is $5 per person and includes all-day swimming, hiking and fishing. 

Tickets for the dinner on Saturday are $10 each and include barbecued chicken, bottled water, applesauce, baked beans and a roll. Tickets are available for pre-sale only and can be purchased by calling the resort at 330-602-4000.

Herron says the event was initially held in response to a suggestion from local carvers Pat Holbert and “Lumber” Jack Riese who had previously completed sculptures for the park.

They’re the ones that approached us and said, ‘We should try some kind of a carving contest out here,’” he explains. “They were able to get eight of their closest friends that they’ve met in other competitions and brought them in here.”

Herron says the event continues to grow in both size and popularity, so much so that every campsite has been booked for this weekend. 

“It’s kind of a unique thing, and there’s just not a lot of that around here. I think that’s what makes it unique, and I think that’s what's driving people to want to come in and watch it,” he says.

Wood’s Tall Timber Resort is located at 1921 Tall Timber Road NE in New Philadelphia.

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