Ronan hosts third ‘Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous’
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By Taylor Davison / Valley Journal
RONAN — After a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ronan Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous is coming back for its third year with plenty to offer.
Running June 9-12, festivities begin daily at 9 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. Friday evening ends with an auction of around 20 quick carves and closing out the show on Sunday afternoon is the auction of artists’ big carvings.
The rendezvous will be a busy venue throughout the weekend with vendors selling everything from food to crafts, the VFW putting on a community center breakfast, and the Mission Mountain Quilt Guild hosting a show as well. The main feature will be the nine renowned chainsaw carvers working on their art, some of whom have done carving all over the world, like Thor From Earth, who once competed in England at the Queen’s summer home.
The annual rendezvous, which began in 2018, was spearheaded by Ronan resident Ronna Walchuk. She had been trying to come up with a unique event that would appeal to the entire community. So, she went back to her roots. She and her family had been in the local timber industry all her life. Walchuk was once involved in a horse-logging business. When the idea of chainsaw carving came to her, she knew it would go over well.
“It’s a good fit for our timber industry here, and it’s a good fit for Ronan,” Walchuk said.
Ronan residents Bill Bartel, Susan Lake, and Adele Vincent, agreed to help, moving the idea from conception to reality. “It wouldn’t be possible without the committee,” Walchuk said.
From there, support for the event only grew. Walchuk reached out to a friend involved with chainsaw carving to get them to talk to the Ronan Chamber and to help drum up talented participants. Those carvers have been attending since day one. Local businesses and individuals stepped up to sponsor the rendezvous, some providing food and lodging to visiting carvers.
The carvers themselves even help out. Whenever Walchuk has a question about how best to tackle an element of the event, she calls up the carvers to get their input.
All the contributing people make Ronan’s chainsaw carving event a success year after year, Walchuk emphasized. “The community really, really came to town for this,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
This year’s rendezvous still needs volunteers. To get involved, call Walchuk at 406-261-7579.