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Chainsaw sculpting championship begins Sept. 24

Winner Steve Higgins of Sunland Park, N.M., created this sculpture in 2008 and will compete in this year's event. (Submitted photo)

Hear the saws roar. See the chips fly.

The fifth annual Golden Chainsaw Sculpting Championships will be held Thursday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 27. The experience begins when visitors park at ArtisTREE Fields three miles south of Hackensack and take a horse-drawn shuttle ride to the event area.

Though located at a new site, patrons will recognize the event they remember from past years, plus new additions - live folk and jazz music each day, birch bark canoe building and plasma metal-sculpting demonstrations.

The core of the event hasn't changed, however, according to Ross Olsen, owner of ArtisTREE Fields. He and AJ Lutter, creators of the original competition, announce this year's field of competitors: 2008 winner Steve Higgins of New Mexico, Dayton Scoggins of Mississippi, Ken Packie of Massachusetts, Jeff Samudosky of Connecticut, Kurita Hiromu of Japan, Kurita Hiroyuki of Japan, Hayashi Takao of Japan, Curtis Ingvolstad of Minnesota, Jim Denkins of Michigan, and Cindy Servis of Minnesota.

"They will create world-class, 8-foot masterpiece sculptures that are worth seeing day after day as they progress," Olsen says.

Besides the 16 huge masterpiece sculptures from competitors and judges, 20 chainsaw artist guest carvers will carve during the weekend and bring their sculptures to life in the bullpen finish area where they show off their versatile painting and detailing artistic skills.

Get comfortable for all the fun in grandstand bleacher seating under a big top tent. Enjoy good eats from local restaurants set up in the Cuisine Court. Shop for local treasures in the Artisan's Village.

Besides carving on their masterpieces, the competitors, judges and guest sculptors take turns in the spotlight in timed events in the ArtisTREE Quick Carve Arena. There's also a new, surprise-carving event on Saturday, where visitors can sign up in a free drawing for a carving.

Auctions will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and the Golden Chainsaw champion will be announced at 2 p.m. Sunday.

For more information or a schedule of events, go to or call 218-675-5086.