Labor Day weekend is one holiday Bellaire resident Joe Hodorowski looks forward to like no other over the course of any given year: he knows exactly where he will be, what he will be doing, who he can count on seeing in passing and who will likely be available to sit down and enjoy a meal of traditional picnic fare a few times over the weekend.
If all goes according to plan, Hodorowski knows he can count on getting in some early-bird Christmas holiday season shopping, and he even has a pretty good idea where to venture if he is seeking some hard to find items from specialty vendors.
After years of shopping with favorite vendors - people he now counts among his friends - Hodorowski knows he can even comfortably and confidently place an order with any of these vendors and rely on it arriving in a timely fashion and will be of the quality and craftsmanship he has come to expect from this popular group of vendors.
Bird on realistic carved oil can by Susan Dorsch of St. Clairsville
Hodorowski knows he can even be confident of curbside loading access to his shopping venue should he happen to decide to purchase something a little bigger than a bread box.
He can even count on getting some of his own work done.
Hodorowski is a longtime member of the local Oglebay Woodcarver's Guild and serves as corresponding secretary for the local organization.
The Bellaire resident is one of a group of carvers from across the Ohio Valley who meet regularly at the Stifel Fine Arts Center for the purpose of carving together, enjoying the camaraderie and being able to encourage newcomers to the hobby.
This Labor Day holiday weekend's annual Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild and Show is its 34th consecutive event. The Oglebay Woodcarvers Guild of Wheeling is hosting the event which is again going to be held in its traditional home, the Pine Room at the Crispin Center in Oglebay Park on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 with business hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. As always, parking is free and made available to the public.
Wood carvings of all descriptions will be displayed with many for sale, with some vendors accepting special orders.
Anyone attending the event will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win a nice carving. Drawings will be held every hour during the show and the winner must be present to win.
Many past exhibitors will be returning to both participate in the show and sale and to visit with friends old and new.
Among those participating will be Ohio Valley native Ray Thurston, now of Medina, and his drift wood creations; Bill Baker, with his collection of Santa figures; and a prolific carver from Kentucky, John Broughton will show his stylized offerings in various wood types. New York residents Bob Chaffee and Ken Kohl will once again join this unique group of carvers.
"Locally St Clairsville's Susan Dorsch and her painted rust and wear carvings, which have drawn praises and awe from the viewing folks of her authentic reproductions, are carved and painted on wood," offered Hodorowski.
Another local lady from St Clairsville, Ann Swearingen, will be joined by Wheeling's Jim Showalter, and Weirton's Joe Romanyak, Sr.; Al Pierson from Washington, Pa., Clark Adams, Strabane, Joe Hodorowski of Bellaire, Duke Jordan, Weirton, Kelli Dague of Triadelphia, John Tomaszewski, New Martinsville and Wheeling's Sue Mozena.
Carving tools of all descriptions, patterns and pattern books will be available for the discerning carver.
Food and drinks will be available from the Oglebay Park concession counter directly inside the Pine Room with tables to sit and relax after viewing the carvings.
Carvers will be selling raffle tickets with the top prize of lodging from Sunday through Thursday night at a deluxe cabin in Oglebay Park. Two second prize awards of $100 and three third prize awards of $50 Oglebay gift cards good anywhere in Oglebay Park will be awarded.
The final drawing will be held at the conclusion of the show on Sunday, Sept. 1, but winners are not required to be present.
Extra events on tap for this Labor Day weekend within the Park area will be the two-day long revolutionary war era reenactments. Fort Henry Days, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Site One, is a colonial era battle reenactment. And on Sunday evening at 7 p.m., the Wheeling Symphony will perform at the Amphitheater.
Additional information about the Woodcarvers show is available by calling Hodorowski at 740-676-7030.