While attending the Expo, iSurf News spoke with Bob Bauer, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Forest Industries Association, which is responsible for organizing the Expo, and found out more on what the event offers to the public.
“The big part of the show is the variety of large equipment on display and all the vendors that work and provide supplies for the wood products industries, so we have a lot of industry people come out and look at that” said Bauer. “I think we have close to 100 exhibitors, which is one of the best turnouts we’ve have in a while, so that’s a good sign. Of course, we also have free wagon rides, horse logging demonstrations, a chili dinner tonight, and an ongoing silent auction that’s fun and entertaining for everybody.”
Two of the most eye-catching vendor displays set up today, were the “Monster Log” weight-guessing competition and the Bear Hollow Wood Carvers’ realistic, chainsaw-made sculptures.
Coming in at around 10 feet in length and over 4 feet in diameter, the so-called, “Monster Log,” definitely lived up to its name. In addition, the age rings at the end of the massive red oak indicated that it was approximately 83 years-old. However, finding the epic piece of timber's weight is left up to you. That’s right, for $2 you can enter your guess at the log’s weight. If you can guess the closest to the true weight when it’s revealed tomorrow, September 18th, you could win a new chainsaw or a variety of other prizes. Even if you don’t win, though, just standing next to the “Monster Log” is pretty rewarding in itself.
With two freshly made and very realistic carvings of a fox and a black bear on display from talented female artist, Zoe Boni, the Bear Hollow Wood Carvers’ booth was definitely interesting to check out. It was truly hard to believe that something as powerful as a chainsaw could have made such detailed pieces of art. In addition, Zoe will be making 4 carvings a day, which will then be auctioned off in the silent auction.
There will also be several competitions and events taking place tomorrow between 8:30am and 4:30pm, said Bauer, including an old-style lumber jack competition with categories such as chopping, racing chainsaws, and a pole climbing event, as well as a “skidder” competition. Many of the same vendor booths will be set up on the grounds and within the midway building as well.
In relation to Kentucky’s economy and general livelihood, Bauer explained that, “Overall, the wood products industry employs about 30,000 people in the state of Kentucky throughout 112 counties. A lot of people think the industry is all out in eastern Kentucky, but there’s a very strong wood industry around here as well. The industry itself brings in about $5 billion in sales a year for the state of Kentucky. Also, as far as hardwood lumber or lumber from trees that lose their leaves, Kentucky is the 3rd largest hardwood lumber producing state in the country. Actually, one of the largest lumber producing counties in the state is Muhlenberg County. So it’s definitely a big industry for the entire state.
For more information on the Kentucky Wood Expo, visit the Kentucky Forest Industries Association at their official site: www.kfia.org.
Again, the second day of the KY Wood Expo will be taking place at the Hopkins County Fair Grounds and Ballard Convention Center tomorrow, September 17th, from 8:30am-4:30pm. Admission to the event is $5.
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