Woodcarvers fill fairgrounds

EVART – A lot of people are sharpening their knives before heading to Evart this weekend.

In what has become in many ways a kickoff event for a summer filled with activities, the Osceola 4H FFA Fairgrounds will host the Thirteenth Annual Wood Carvers Roundup this week.

From June 8 to 11, hundreds of people armed with small but exceedingly sharp knives and other woodcarving tools will be wandering around the fairgrounds and settling for a period of intense carving, sculpting, wood-burning, or just plain whittling.

The Wood Carvers Roundup has been taking place at the fairgrounds for more than decade and has been growing with each passing year. What used to be a gathering of a couple dozen woodcarving hobbyists has now become a convention of 600-700 woodcraft aficionados with a wide range of woodcarving preferences. The workshops and classes planned reflect the many styles and disciplines practiced by participants, and those taking part in the four-day event are as varied as their woodcarving preferences.

Where once-upon-a-time the Roundup was a gathering place for grandmas and grandpas, the events taking place during the past few years have attracted people of every age and skill level – including growing numbers of young people spending part of their summer break from school learning or perfecting wood-carving skills.

Beginning on Wednesday, classes and workshops will run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. And there really is something for just about everybody (except those philosophically opposed to hurting a good chunk of wood with a sharp implement.)

There are classes such as: wood burning basics, cedar fan birds, power wood carving, relief carving, soap carving for kids and adults, free-style chip carving, fantasy caricatures, shore bird carving, flat plane carving and much, much … much more.

There are also opportunities to take part in a swap and trade meet – all wood-carving-related, of course — and there are venders on site able to supply all your carving needs.

There are also a few non-carving workshops for those interested including: quilting, drop spindle spinning and kaleidoscope paper folding.

Woodcarvers will be able to enjoy the Evart Musicale concert featuring the Jim Cummings Band on Thursday, June 9, in the evening.

There will be a lot going on and you don’t need to be skilled to take part. You just need to have a desire to learn something new and creative. Beginners are welcome in all workshops and classes and there certainly is something for everyone.

Organizers do ask that kids under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by a parent and certain restrictions may apply to the participation of younger people – simply because of safety issues.

You don’t need to sign up for workshops but it would be best to check time listings in flyers distributed around Evart or out at the fairgrounds in order not to be disappointed and remember, things may change at the last minute so …

All are welcome.

The annual Wood Carvers Roundup is a great way to hone your skills or learn a new craft – something to hold your interest for years to come.

For more information visit www.evartroundup.com.