The 2016 Ridgway Chainsaw Carver Rendezvous shattered previous attendance records and was a huge success by all accounts. Over 45,000 people flocked to Elk County to see 192 carvers from 7 countries and at least 35 U.S. states, according to event organizer Liz Boni. The event has traditionally been held in February. After enduring bitter cold temperatures last year, the decision was made to move the 2016 Rendezvous to March. That turned out to be a good decision, as the region was blessed with unseasonably warm temperatures during the entire event this year. Carvers enjoy seminars during the week to help them hone their skills. Visitor to the event were able to see some of the finest chainsaw carvers on earth apply their craft and maybe take home a unique carving. This huge influx of visitors has a large reaching effect on the local economy as well. Lodging facilities and restaurants in Elk County saw increased business. Many retailers, also experienced increased revenues from tourist generated spending.
“This fun and family friendly event gives many local businesses a much needed boost during the slower winter travel season. My hope is that people from out of the area come to Ridgway to see the chainsaw carvers and have a great time. While they are here, travelers will discover that there are so many things to do and see in our region that they return often.” -John A. Straitiff, Executive Director PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau.
“The Ridgway Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous started as a backyard gathering of six carvers in 2000, this relatively small group of carvers took it to a whole new level, and at the time, we thought this was quite a big gathering of carvers. Little did we know…Since then, it has grown to the world’s largest event of its kind and evolved into a partnership of community and artistic spirit.”-Liz Boni
Plans are already underway for 2017 Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous to make it even bigger and better. You can find more information on upcoming events in the PA Great Outdoors region online at VisitPAGO.com or by calling (814) 849-5197