Jones County is home one of the premier venues in the world of chain-saw carving, and the upcoming event marks the eighth annual Chaptacular Chain-saw Carving Bash, which is the second-largest chain-saw carving event in North America.

Chaptacular takes place Nov. 11-12 at the home of Chap Nelson at 542 Hungerford Road. The hours for the event are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Admission is free for the public to come and watch the carvers perform their art. This year’s attendees have the opportunity to purchase items directly from the carvers, bid on items in a silent auction or wait until the Saturday auction to purchase items. 

Two highlights of the event are the ‘quick carve’ at noon Friday that lasts for 45 minutes and Saturday’s ‘speed carve’ – also at noon – where three carvers compete to see who can carve the most bears in an hour. 

Carving demonstrations take place throughout the event up to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and the auction will take place at 3 p.m. the same day. 

The host is an award-winning chain-saw artist himself. Nelson started carving in 2004, and the first Chaptacular took place in 2006. For the last five years, it has been a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Last year alone, the event raised more than $42,000 for the foundation. Totaling the five years together, that number grows to $75,000.

Chain-saw art is a hobby for Nelson, but many of the artists who attend Chaptacular work at their art full time. More than 70 national and international award-winning carvers have registered to attend this year’s Chaptacular. 

The styles of the artists are as varied as the artists themselves, with some noted for their speed and others the meticulous details of their work. Nelson said some are purists who only use chain saws, but others, like himself, use other carving tools necessary to get the desired finished results.

New to the event this year are food trucks that include barbecue, hamburgers, grilled chicken, pizza, tacos, turkey legs, gator on a stick, hot wings, french fries, onion rings, pretzel dogs, meatball subs, chicken kebabs, and more.

The cystic fibrosis connection comes from Nelson’s nephew, Luke, who has battled the disease since he was 11. Luke is now 18 and is attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. 

The entry fee for the artists for Chaptacular is the donation of a carving to be placed in the auction or sold, with the proceeds going to the CF Foundation. 

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits the ability to breathe. Since the first Chaptacular, the entire Nelson family has gotten into it. Luke’s father, Stelling, raises money for the CF Foundation all year.

The Nelson family and in-kind contributions from individuals and local businesses takes care of all the expense for Chaptacular, which means all contributions, sponsorships, and funds raised at the event go directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 

This year’s sponsors include Country 99 WDEN, All State Electric, Community Health Care Services, Echo Southeast, McDuffie Lawn Care and Firewood, Morris Bank, Community Ambulance, State Farm, Gateway, McNair, Taylor Services, Dwayne Moore Painting, and Pellicano Construction. 

Chaptacular directions: drive 3 miles northeast of Gray on Highway 11 to Bradley. Turn right on Hungerford Road, then go 2 miles to address 541 and follow parking signs. For more information call 478-986-7405.

-- Debbie Lurie-Smith |


The Jones County News

P.O. Box 1538
Gray, GA 31032
(478) 986-3929