The Labor Day weekend is a much anticipated last opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of the nation's traditional summer vacation season, and a time when thousands make an annual pilgrimage to an invitingly comfortable building on a gracefully sculpted hilltop where a treasure trove of tempting delights can be found.
The place: Oglebay Park's Pine Room
What: The Annual Oglebay Woodcarver's Show and Sale
Leprechaun, by Joe Hodorowski of Bellaire
When: Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1 & 2, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
If you have not yet taken the opportunity to visit this expansive annual event, you have missed something very special.
This is truly a unique treat whether you are a carver, woodworker, collector, or simply enjoy the smell of fresh sawdust - it is not to be missed.
The environment of the Pine Room is perfectly suited to presenting the annual event in a family friendly fashion, with all the amenities readily at hand for guests of all ages, and all levels of interest and or expertise when it comes to carving wood.
If you enjoy starting your holiday shopping at this time of year, there will be plenty of possibilities to choose from as the show and sale participants offer at least 50 filled tables of carvings, tools, and more.
A number of carving related demonstrations are planned throughout the course of the two-day long show and sale. These will be held on the adjacent lawn, weather permitting.
These demonstrations have long been a traditional offering of the show and offer something for everyone from the beginner to the more experienced carver.
Also on the lawn will be an event favorite: woodcarving using a chainsaw.
Flushing resident Jeff Roscoe will again be on hand at the event, and will have his one-of-a-kind items available for sale as well as on display for the public to enjoy viewing.
His unique carving skills and techniques allow a skillfully executed transformation to take place in just a few brief hours, rather than occupying a more traditional timetable of weeks or months of time being invested in bringing a carved piece to life.
Roscoe's art, accomplished with the aid of a chainsaw, allows him to skillfully transform tree logs into striking animals, birds or caricatures.
This year for the first time, well known carving knife designer and builder John Dunkle, of Dunkle Knives, in Archbold, Ohio, will offer a knife sharpening service for the general carving public during the show. The cost of a professional sharpening is $3 each. Any carving knife is acceptable. Dunkle will also display, demonstrate, and sell his specialized knife selection.
This annual two-day carving show and sale brings together numerous carvers from as far away as New York, Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia, as well as drawing local and regional carvers from across Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, according to longtime Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild member John Hodorowski of Bellaire.
"After a few years absence, talented carver Robert (Bob) Stadtlander from Mantua, Ohio, formerly from Wellsville, New York, will display his large, intricate relief carvings at our event this Labor Day weekend," noted Hodoroski.
Driftwood fashioned into aquatic and avian displays are the work of long time event favorites, Ray and Phyllis Thurston of Mentor.
Karl Ohly from Sandusky, and William Baker from Pennsylvania are well known names among carvers.
"Ohly does large portrait type relief pictures, with Santa being a favorite carving subject of Baker's," said Hodorowski.
"Also participating in this year's event will be Twinsburg, Ohio, resident Bill Baker," said Hodorowksi.
The Twinsburg resident will have a display of traditional Native American inspired Kachina dolls.
Kentuckian John Broughton will be bringing his vast array of sculptured figures.
Turning to names familiar on a more local level as talented carvers are individuals drawn from the Wheeling, Weirton and Pittsburgh areas of talented carves including Bill Hicks, Kelli Dague, John Tomaszewski, Sue Mozena, Jim Showalter, Duke Jordan, Clark Adams Wilda Brinkmeier, Kevin Patch, Joe Rich, Joe Hodorowski, Frank Bulian, John Yancosek and bird carver Susan Dorsch.
Numerous carving vendors will be selling wood, wood products, knives, gouges and other tools. Lukens Wood from Knightstown, Indiana, sells various species of carving wood such as basswood, walnut, popular plus other species both local and from distant areas. Richard Traczyk, of Little Mountain Supply, of Front Royal, Va., will be displaying for sale a large variety of high quality carving supplies including power tools. Ed Allen's "Boxes and Such" display will offer for sale pre-made boxes and bird houses suitable for chip carving or finishing.
The entire show is open to the public with no admission charges. Raffle tickets will be sold with some fabulous prizes to six lucky winners. Prizes include a week's free lodging at an Oglebay Park deluxe cabin and five gift cards worth $100 or $50 each, all redeemable for Oglebay Park goods or services, all courtesy of Oglebay, with the drawing taking place at the conclusion of the show on Sunday.
"Expensive gasoline can be saved by spending a weekend close to home and enjoying this show and all of the other activities in beautiful Oglebay Park. Friendly carvers will greet visitors in the air conditioned, handicap equipped and rustic Pine Room where the Oglebay employees will be selling food and drinks with seating overlooking the pool," shared Hodorowski.
Events being held elsewhere in the park over the holiday weekend include Fort Henry Days on Saturday and Sunday at Site One, which is a colonial era re-enactment.
Sunday evening, the Wheeling Symphony will perform at the park's amphitheater.
Both of these events are well attended and admission is free to the public, noted the Bellaire resident.
The Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild is a not for profit organization who after expenses support annually many tri-state areas like the Soup Kitchen, The Health Right Inc. and numerous public libraries with on-going subscriptions to the Chip Chats, a carving magazine available in towns where club members reside, he said. The Guild is dedicated to the promotion of the art of woodcarving through instruction, exhibitions and demonstrations.
The club meets twice weekly: on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings for carving sessions, which are traditionally held in the lower level of the Stifel Fine Arts Center on National Road in Wheeling.
Hodorowski, corresponding secretary of the Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild, can be reached for more information by email at email@example.com, or by calling 740-676-7030.