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Reedsport Chainsaw Sculpting Championships under way

REEDSPORT, Ore. -- The 16th Annual Chainsaw Sculpting Championship kicked off in Reedsport Thursday.

Carvers from all over the world are on hand to put their skills to the test. With 40 competitors, stakes are high and competition is fierce.

Mark Colp from Lakeport, California is a returning champion. "I've won this event three times; I've never placed less than 3rd."

For him, he says carving is a career. "I get to hang out with my buds, carve giant pieces of wood and get paid good for it."

For others, it's an artistic outlet.

"It's my passion; I like making artwork and I always thought that other forms of art took too long," says Tyler Strauslin of Salem.

Carvers will have four days to turn a giant seven-foot spruce log into a work of art, transforming it into a Bigfoot.

The competition draws a yearly crowd of around 5,000 people from around the country.

"She's already seen one of the bears she likes, 'yeah, I'm a bear lover,'" laughs Clay Coreson of Dallas, attending with his wife Linda.

"The excitement that's created and the art that is formed here, it's amazing," says Co-chairman Frank Barth.

"Anyone from two years old to 102 years old can enjoy it," Colp says.

The top prize is $1,500 and a brand new chain saw.

The four-day event ends on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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