June 24, 2019
By: Erica Rose
Well first, I hope everyone had a nice weekend! It turned out to be a beautiful one, which was long overdue – am I right!? My kids spent most of the weekend in the pool, and let me tell you the water is not that warm yet! The Schnecksville Community Fair also wrapped this past weekend, and after a wet start that caused some postponements, they ended up having a great ending. I was out there on Thursday night (one of the nights it rained of course) so the Quarter Midget racing was postponed. But, I had the opportunity to cover the Masters of the Chainsaw carving competition. It was my first time covering an event like that. In fact, it was my first time at the Fair. But, it's certainly a story I will never forget! For those of you who have never been, I highly recommend going out to see the talent (there is so much more to do once you’re there too.)
The competition began on Thursday and wrapped up on Saturday night. There were 10 men and one woman competing for the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to compete in Japan. They had three 90-minute sessions over the course of three days to work on what was called their “masterpiece.” Not only are these guys talented, but they're creative too. A mountain lion, hummingbird, eagle, and drunken sailor were just a few things they were carving. Each night, after the 90 minutes was up they worked on a quick 30-minute smaller piece that was judged right away. I was only there for one night but what I saw in just those first 90 minutes had me disappointed that I would not be there to see the end result.
Going into the night I had no idea what to expect, but this competition, which was started by Brian Ruth nearly 30 years ago attracts some of the best chainsaw carvers in the country. The fair competition is by invite only, and they take it very seriously. Some of them, including Mike Ayers who has won the past 3 years, make a living out of it, traveling from one competition to another. They also carry nearly a dozen chainsaws with them! (I didn’t even know they made so many!) But now I realize they need different sizes for different areas, you can’t use a 20lb saw when they are working on the details. If you go to the Schnecksville Community Fair facebook page they posted a bunch of pictures. I attached the winner Mike Ayers masterpiece below!