Maple Madness carving competition set for third iteration

MANITOU BEACH — Maple Madness at Manitou Beach will be sending up sawdust for its third year since 2015. 

The three-day chainsaw carving competition will take place from Aug. 8 to 11 and is set to feature distinguished carvers from across the continent, said Brendan Manz, Manitou Beach’s community development officer. 

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Other than the carving, Manz said attendees can watch whittling demonstrations, participate in ax throwing, browse vendors or enjoy beer gardens. Face painting, bouncy castles and a dunk tank will also be featured for kids young and old. 

In its previous iterations, the bi-annual Maple Madness competition has drawn out carvers from across Canada and the United States. Some have competed internationally in Europe, while others have been featured on HGTV’s Carver Kings.

“These are world class carvers,” Manz said. “We try to put on a first class event.” 

Logs as high as 12 feet will be drawn for on Wednesday evening, before carvers take to their task from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday after until time runs out at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The judges panel will decide their winner, while attendees will have the chance to crown the people's choice, both to be announced at 3 p.m. More than $8,000 in prize money will be awarded. 

“Our setup allows for some interaction between the carvers and the people wandering around the site,” Manz said. “There is an opportunity to talk about what they're working on and how they're doing it. It can be an interactive experience as well for people coming out.”

The competition’s final day, Aug. 11, is also the date of Manitou Beach’s incorporation centennial. The Sunday will feature some live entertainment, speeches and free cake, Manz said.

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