Big Buzz Chainsaw Fest is carving a niche among Chester events

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For the second year in a row, the six-year-old Big Buzz Chainsaw Carving Festival has found a comfortable home on the grounds of a former cornfield next to the American Legion on Route 103 South in Chester.  Click here to go to the Big Buzz Photo Gallery below.

The event, which began on Tuesday Oct. 6, wraps up a week that was filled with demonstrations, quick carve events and last night’s fire sculpture show tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 12.

Throughout the week, the air was filled with the whizzes, buzzes and high-pitched whines of chainsaws of all sizes cutting their way through wood of many varieties. The only down day was the rain-soaked Friday. Otherwise the weather was perfect for the outdoor event.

Organizer Barre Pinske, a Chester carver whose Vermont Wooden Bear company creates sawdust at First and Depot Street, seemed pleased with the turnout for the event by both the carvers and the public. Pinske said there were 32 carvers this year — up from about 20 from last year. (The Chester Telegraph last year erroneously estimated that there were 40.)

“Many other carving events are contest-oriented,” he said. “What we try to do is keep (the Big Buzz) festival-oriented.”

On Saturday afternoon, Pinske said that he thought 1,000 people had come through the gates. While that number couldn’t be verified, the parking area was full, with cars bearing license plates from all over the northeast.

Besides acting as organizer, Pinske also took to the role of auctioneer following Sunday’s quick-carve event, in which chainsaw artists create a sculpture in a timed event. The items are then auctioned off, and the money split 60-40 between the artist and event.

Asked whether the event will return next year, Pinske said, “Absolutely. … We had two father-son teams carving together and two women carvers. There aren’t as many women as there are men And there are the carvers who always return. We also had a lot of our art-lovers and the fire sculptures were amazing this year.”

Click a photo to launch gallery.


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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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