The fourth annual Echo Chain Saw Carving Series Championship will take place at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta October 3-5 to garner “wishes” for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Mexico.
Eight world-class chain saw carvers from four qualifying events will compete for cash, prizes and the Echo cup. They will have 20 hours to produce masterpiece sculptures that will be judged on the final day and then auctioned, with all proceeds benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Mexico. This year’s carving theme mirrors the Fiesta’s, which is “Launching Dreams,” and Echo has set a goal of raising two wishes per auctioned sculpture. One “wish” is $5,000.
The Fiesta is a perfect visual venue for the championship. With 700 participating balloons, the Balloon Fiesta is the largest ballooning event in the world and the largest annual international event held in the United States. More than 400,000 visitors are expected opening weekend when the Echo championship will be held. Visit www.balloonfiesta.com for more details and schedules.
Each Echo qualifying event produces two pro-carver finalists. Any duplicate winners will be filled with at-large contestants based on a point system. The four qualifying events leading to the championship are as follows:
• The Cole Chevrolet Mountain Carving Invitational, Bluefield, W.Va. (May 23-25)
• The National Road Chainsaw Carving Festival, Addison, Pa. (June 12-14)
• The Oregon Divisional Championship, Reedsport, Ore. (June 12-15)
• The Chetwynd Invitational Chain Saw Carving Championship, Chetwynd, B.C., Canada (June 12-15)
The eight finalists traveling to New Mexico will receive a $1,000 travel stipend, hotel and meals plus a $100 incidental expense card, and ground transportation while at the event. Cash and prize packages are still under development, but the eight finalists will win cash and prizes matching or exceeding the 2007 championship bounty of $42,000.
Visit www.echo-usa.com/carvingseries over the next few months to follow the progress of the series. To see the 2007 championship at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo on You Tube, log on to www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1C0D7kK8-g.