Libby gears up for carving competition

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A CHAINSAW carver works on a sculpture during the 2018 Kootenai Country Montana International Chainsaw Carving Championship. This year’s event will be held Sept. 12-15. (Courtesy photo)

It’s time to carve!

Twenty-two of the world’s finest chainsaw artists will descend on Libby for third annual Kootenai Country Montana International Chainsaw Carving Championship Sept. 12-15.

This year’s affair will undoubtedly have an international flavor as competitors are from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and yes, even Africa.

The competition will be an intense, four-day affair with the artists carving not only their competition masterpiece, but also engaging in several hour-long “quick carve” events during scheduled breaks.

The competition will be held on Mineral Avenue, allowing the public to watch the artists at work.

Paul Bunn, the founder of this event, said “This is an event that will help showcase the natural beauty of Kootenai Country Montana and help to bring more people to our neck of the woods.

“What could possibly be more distinctly Montana than chainsaw art? And what could be better than bringing the very best in the world to the world’s most beautiful place for a live carving championship? We’re sure this will be an event we’ll be holding for as long as we can foresee,” Bunn said.

This year’s event is bringing some exciting new changes to the competition. The event will be expanded to four days, with the masterpieces being brought to a high level of finish not seen in the past.

In an even more exciting development, the championship will be held the same weekend as the Libby Nordicfest celebration. Nordicfest is a proud and longstanding tradition celebrating Libby’s town’s heritage, and these two events will serve greatly to enhance each other.

The event is scheduled to begin Thursday, Sept. 12 in Libby. Carvers will work Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning on their competition pieces with short “quick-carve” breaks.

The quick-carve pieces will be available for public auction during the competition. The event will also feature a special artists’ reception where the public can meet the artists and learn more about this truly fascinating art form.

Here is the schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 12

8 a.m. – Carving begins on Mineral Avenue

10:15 a.m. – Break

10:30 a.m. – Second quick-carve begins

Noon – Lunch

1 p.m. – Carving resumes

6 p.m. – Day 2 carving ends

Friday, Sept. 13

8 a.m. – Carving begins on Mineral Avenue

10:15 a.m. – Break

10:30 a.m. – Second quick-carve begins

Noon – Lunch

1 p.m. – Carving resumes

1:30 p.m. — Auction for Thursday quick carve pieces

6 p.m. – Day 2 carving ends

Saturday, Sept. 14

8:00 a.m. – Carving begins

10:15 a.m. – Break

10:30 a.m. – Third quick-carve begins

Noon – Lunch

1 p.m. – Carving resumes

2:30 p.m. – Auction of Friday & Saturday quick-carve pieces

5:30 p.m. – Day 3 carving ends

Sunday, Sept. 15

8 a.m. – Carving begins

10:15 a.m. – Masterpiece carving ends

10:30 a.m. – Final quick-carve begins

Noon – Lunch

1 p.m. – Final auction begins. Awards presentation follows final auction

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