Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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May 26, 2007

Mountain Festival offers fun on the cutting edge

BLUEFIELD — When it came to throwing a birthday party this year for Ethan Emmons, the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce outdid itself this year. Emmons, now 11, the son of champion chain saw wood carver, Jason Emmons, celebrated his birthday Saturday by riding a “bunch of rides” at the James H. Drew Exposition during the 2007 Comcast Mountain Festival.

“I got a Super Bowl poster too,” Ethan Emmons said. The family is from rural Branchville, Ind., and they are all big Indianapolis Colts fans.

“His sister, Payton, was named after Peyton Manning, but spelled differently,” Cindy Emmons said as her husband worked his artistic magic with an Echo chain saw. The Colts drafted Manning in 1998, and Payton Emmons is eight years old. Her 6-year-old sister Macey was busy enjoying Ethan’s birthday as well.

“Last year was our first year here in Bluefield,” Cindy Emmons said. “We really liked it because we could bring the kids with us. I’ve gotten so that I can trust Ethan to go along with his dad. Ethan is carving now and sold a few of his pieces too. This is the second fair we have been to this year. I’ll drive back (tonight) and let Jason rest.”

Jason Emmons is one of five champion chain saw carvers in Echo’s national chain saw carving team. He recently won a chain saw carving competition in California, and also appeared on an episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and carved the series logo on a home the team built for a cancer survivor.

“Jason goes to a lot of schools in Indiana and Tennessee and talks to kids about staying in school even if they’re having a hard time with it and telling them to eat healthy foods,” Cindy Emmons said as her husband slowly transformed a log into the image of a bear cub climbing on a limb. “We went to Alaska last year and he got a lot of ideas for his carvings,” Cindy Emmons said.

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