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Washago Carving Event back for second year

Event this weekend will feature carvers from across Ontario and raise money for 'mobi-mat' at local park
2018-03-17 WashagoCarvingEvent3.jpg
Veteran chainsaw carver Jim Menken worked on a custom piece at last year's Washago Carving Event. Mehreen Shahid/OrilliaMatters

The sound of chainsaws will resonate throughout Centennial Park in Washago this weekend.

After a successful first year in 2018, the Washago Carving Event is returning Friday to Sunday.

More than a dozen carvers from across the province will be in the Severn Township village to show off their skills.

Last year’s event exceeded expectations, said organizer John Kerr.

“It was terrific. It was just packed,” he said. “People were coming up to me and saying, ‘This is great. I hope it continues.’”

Admission to the event is free, giving people an easy way to check out the artistic talents of the carvers and get a head start on spring.

“It’s a sense of early spring,” Kerr said. “Everybody has cabin fever.”

Vendors will be on hand to sell food, arts and crafts, and some of the carvers will be selling their creations, too.

Shaw Direct will hold a draw for a carved bear. Also, a picnic table will be raffled off. Meridian Credit Union will be selling hot chocolate as a fundraiser for youth mental health.

The main fundraising goal, though, is for a “mobi-mat,” which will allow those with mobility issues to access the lake at the park.

“We’re going to make it known that everybody can come here and enjoy the park,” Kerr said.

A mobi-mat costs about $9,000. Last year’s event got the ball rolling toward that goal. Money from this weekend, as well as another carving event set to take place Sept. 27 to 29, will also be put toward the mobi-mat.

The festivities will run Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. At that time, the carvers’ creations will be auctioned off, with proceeds going toward the mobi-mat purchase.

The event is great for people of all ages, Kerr said, adding visitors can get a close-up view of the artists in action.

“They can talk to the carvers and watch what they’re doing. It’s amazing what they can do,” he said. “Every carver has his own style.”

For more information, email Kerr at