Whittle the Wood attracts international attention

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Whittle the Wood Rendezvous

What: A wood-carving contestWhen: June 14-17 Where: Craig City ParkFor information: Call 826-2029 or 824-5689.

When the historic cottonwoods shading Craig City Park began to deteriorate several years ago, the Craig Parks and Recreation Department decided to leave the tree stumps for local artists to decorate with elaborate carvings.

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Shawn Wood, a two-time winner of the Whittle the Wood contest, works on his piece during the 2005 Whittle the Wood event, sponsored by the city of Craig.

The tree carvings were received so positively by the community that Parks and Rec. has since sponsored a popular annual tree-carving event that Craig Chamber of Commerce Director Chris Currie calls "a wonderful way for the city to give back and say thank you to the community."

The seventh annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous will be held again in Craig's City Park from June 14 to 17.

The public is invited to watch a select group of invited artists carve 10 large Cottonwood logs that will be brought into the park and set vertically in the ground.

When the masterpieces are complete on the Saturday of the event, the public, artists and three independent judges will choose people's choice and artist's choice awards for the carvings in addition to three Best of Show cash prizes.

With nearly 4,000 people at last year's Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, City Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike believes this year's event will be even bigger with skilled artists from across the West and as far as Romania and the Czech Republic traveling to Craig to participate.

The Saturday celebration is an all-day event in the park. As the artists' finished carvings are judged, folks can picnic in the park and enjoy the variety of food vendors and arts and crafts booths.

Many artists also make smaller, decorative items to donate for a silent auction.

Saturday features a free concert as the culmination of the rendezvous and one of Craig's premier summer events. This year's concert will feature Dave Mason, the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee from famed British rock group Traffic.

For more information on Whittle the Wood, call the parks and recreation at 826-2029 or the Craig Chamber of Commerce at 824-5689.

Visit www.craig-chamber.com for more information on Moffat County's events and attractions.

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