In the first year it has been held in July — and one of the first where event-founder Ron Adamson had a group of volunteers to help him plan — organizers of the Ron Adamson Libby Chainsaw Event are considering it a success.
John Harrison, who began volunteering after he became involved in Adamson’s 2018 event, said that all of the 27 vendors at this year’s show seemed pleased with how their sales went.
Additionally, Kootenai Pets For Life was able to raise $832 and adopt out two pets during the event, which featured an Adoption Walk, said Faith Lee, KPFL director. There were also several additional adoption applications which still have to pass a home check.
Harrison said that event sponsor Petsmart, out of Kalispell, gave away about $500 worth of pet items for those adopting pets.
Harrison also expressed gratitude for JMF and Evergreen Disposal, who provided services for free to the event. Northwest Motorsports also provided an ATV to the event, which Harrison said was a big help.
Black Bear Entertainment — operated by Harrison and business partner Patty Kramer — also sponsored the concert event, with music by Area 56, and the fire poi performances. They also provided the equipment used for other events such as karaoke night.
Harrison said there appeared to be generally favorable response to the concert from the local neighborhood, with some of the neighbors even joining in with her tambourine.
“It overall was a good weekend,” Harrison said.
The carvers who joined in were also pleased with how things went, he said.
In the final judging, Mike Penny, a returning Canadian carver, won first place. Penny said that his piece, “Think Big,’ which depicts a bear cub learning to catch fish, is a project he has been thinking about for several years.
Local carver Jeff Adamson won second place with his carving “Spirit of the Woods,” and Vinko Bogdanoski, from Macedonia, took third with his carving of two eagles in flight.
Tearing up a bit as he introduced the final auction, Ron Adamson said that the event is ultimately about giving something back to a community that has done so much for him and other artists.
“I still think having a chainsaw event here in Libby by local people is important,” he said. “This is us.”
Adamson had to pause, but on continuing noted the ties to the logging industry and the past generations who built Libby from nothing.
“I say this to those to those that lost their jobs — and some have lost their lives in the woods — that they made us what we are today,” he said.