Ken Tynan, who is helping to organize the Butler County Chainsaw Carving Invitational, carves an eagle Wednesday in Center Township.
CONNOQUENESSING TWP — Most events that take place Mother’s Day weekend do not have ear plugs available at the front gate. For that matter, they do not normally feature power tools, either. However, the Butler Chainsaw Carving Invitational, which will be at the Butler Farm Show grounds, is not the typical event for that particular holiday. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Items made will be auctioned off Saturday starting after 5 p.m. and on Sunday starting after 3 p.m. The event will feature 32 carvers from around the world, including seven world champions plus carvers from the ECHO Chain Saw Carving Team. All carving events will be staged in the arena at the farm show grounds. Ken Tynan, an organizer of the event, said all the animals and other decorative items that sculptors make will be available for auction. He said people can get good deals buying these items at auctions. Tynan said that more than 100 pieces could be available. “Everything that we carve gets auctioned off,” said Tynan, 53, of Butler who has been carving for 13 years. Besides carving, food and some craft vendors will be available at the event. Admission is $5 per person, but children under age 12 will be admitted free. The event has been in the making for more than a year. Every year, there is a large chain saw carving event in Ridgway, Elk County, called the Ridgway Rendezvous. Damien Skal, one of the organizers of the Butler event, attended and was interested in seeing if such a show could happen in Butler. Skal contacted the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau. Bureau President Jack Cohen attended the Ridgway event and was impressed. “Oh my God, it’s amazing,” Cohen said. He said that he was impressed by the craftsmanship and the number of visitors the event brought to Ridgway. The bureau became involved in the organization. Eventually, organizers contacted Tynan, who began calling around to carvers to see if they would like to be involved. Although there are larger carving events, Tynan said that few events are able to get this many renowned carvers in one place. Cohen estimates that 20,000 to 40,000 people could attend the event during the three days. If it is successful, he said that the bureau would be interested in having it be annual affair.