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The 19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event: A Carving Extravaganza

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Every September, the town of Hackensack, Minnesota, comes alive with the roar of chainsaws and the symphony of creativity as chainsaw artists from around the nation converge for the highly anticipated annual Chainsaw Event. In 2023, this event celebrated its 19th year, and it did not disappoint. From September 22nd to 24th, 12 exceptionally talented artists transformed raw cut logs into mesmerizing works of art, captivating both locals and visitors alike. (Please check out our photo gallery)

The Chainsaw Artists: Masters of Their Craft

The event showcased the craftsmanship of 12 chainsaw artists, both locally and nationally recognized. Among them were Ben Buschke, Chad Danczyk, Chad Kilpatrick, Clint Henik, Scott Beto, Hank Ivey, Justin Driver, Kent TeVelde, Molly Wiste, Nate Hall, Stevie Songer, and Travis Kimball. Each artist brought their unique style and vision to life, creating awe-inspiring sculptures that left attendees in awe.

For many, including us, it was our first time attending this event, and the experience was nothing short of astonishing. The precision and skill these artists displayed as they carved intricate details from wood were simply breathtaking.

A unique aspect of the event was the quick art competition, where participants had just one hour and 30 minutes to create a masterpiece. These creations were then placed in the auction, and the highest bidder claimed the title of the winner. The auctions occurred on Saturday at 2:00 PM and on Sunday at 12:00 PM, each lasting about two hours. The stands were overflowing with spectators throughout, a testament to the event's popularity and the incredible talent on display.

19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023
Skill and Craft at the 19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023

A Blend of Art and Community

The Chainsaw Event in Hackensack is not just about art; it's also about community. The carvings created during the event were sold at two auctions—one on Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday. The proceeds from these auctions were generously shared between the talented carvers and the event's four sponsors: the city of Hackensack, Hackensack Chamber of Commerce, Hackensack Lions Club, and Hackensack American Legion. This generous spirit of giving back is a testament to the close-knit community in Hackensack.

More Than Chainsaw Art

While chainsaw art was the centerpiece of the event, there was so much more to see and do. The event offered an affordable entry fee of $8 per person or $15 for two (Good for all 3 days), making it accessible to all. Inside, attendees could explore a vendor marketplace, indulge in delicious fare from food trucks, and enjoy games for kids. Of course, the main attraction remained the live chainsaw carvings, all securely fenced off for public safety.

19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023

The All American Lumberjack Show

Adding to the excitement, the Chainsaw Event featured the All American Lumberjack Show, with multiple performances throughout the weekend. These thrilling displays of strength and skill entertained and enthralled the audience, making this event a must-see spectacle for all ages. Show Features: Axe Throwing, Boom Racing, Stock Saw, Spring Board, Tree Topping, X-Cut Sawing, Single Buck, Hot Saws, Chainsaw Carving, Log Rolling, OP Race, and Kid's Lumberjack Sport Camps.

The Auction: A Show in Itself - YEPPPPPP!!!! SOLD!!!

One of the highlights of the Chainsaw Event was undoubtedly the auction. To participate, attendees needed to register at the shirt and merchandise tent to receive a card and a number. The auction took place with the carvings lined up, facing the audience seated in bleachers. The auctioneer skillfully called out the bids, and the enthusiasm from the crowd could be felt. These incredible art pieces, some taking as little as 1.5 hours to create, left the audience in awe.

Large crowd at the 19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023
Large crowd at the 19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023

Take Home a Masterpiece

For those fortunate enough to win a carving in the auction, event staff were on hand to assist with moving and loading the art pieces, ensuring they made their way safely to their new homes.

Large crowd at the 19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023
Auction Item Pick-Up at the 19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023

The Town Surrounds the Event with Style!

What sets the Hackensack Chainsaw Event apart is how the entire town comes together to create an unforgettable experience. Most of the town's businesses and restaurants eagerly participate in the event, ensuring that visitors have an amazing time from dawn till dusk.

During your visit you could grab a brew at the Rendezvous Brewery or savoring a delicious malt at Sun and Fun. If you're craving some Thai cuisine, Charng Thai Restaurant is a must-visit, and for a classic spaghetti dinner, head to the Hackensack Fire Hall (Saturday afternoon). For a unique twist, visit the American Legion for horse and pig video races(Saturday evening), or indulge in some hearty grub at the Birchwood Char House & Bar. Pizza lovers won't want to miss Happy Pizza, and you can top off your Sunday with an amazing S.A.L. omelet breakfast back at the American Legion.

Explore the Beauty of Birch Lake, Minnesota

Also, as you're adventuring around town, be sure to stop by and view the beautiful sights of Birch Lake. There's a public dock you can walk out on and view the lake, providing a great way to experience one of Minnesota's famed 10,000 lakes. It's a picturesque setting that adds to the charm of the event and the town of Hackensack. You can also snap a photo in front of the Woodsman Paul Bunyan's 17-foot-tall sweetheart, Lucette Diana Kensack!

A Fall Must-Visit in the Nisswa & Brainerd Lakes Area

Hackensack is conveniently located just north of Nisswa, making it a short 35-minute drive from the Nisswa & Brainerd Lakes Area. For anyone looking to experience the magic of fall in Minnesota, the Chainsaw Event in Hackensack should be at the top of your list of activities.

Of course, there's so much more to do and see in Hackensack during the event, so you'll have to experience it for yourself. Whether you're an art enthusiast, a foodie, or simply seeking a fantastic fall outing, the Hackensack Chainsaw Event offers something for everyone. Don't miss your chance to witness the incredible talent of these chainsaw artists and immerse yourself in the warmth of the Hackensack community. Here are some tips for attending the Hackensack Chainsaw Event:

  • Arrive early, especially if you're planning on bidding on carvings in the auction. The bleachers can fill up quickly!

  • Explore the town, so you may want to wear some comfortable shoes as you will be walking around.

  • Come hungry! There are multiple food vendors and restaurants in the area.

  • If you're planning on bidding on a carving, be prepared to spend some money. These carvings are works of art, and they can sell for thousands of dollars. Also, bring a truck or trailer to haul these items.

  • Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the event! It's a great way to celebrate fall, support local artists, and support the community of Hackensack!

  • They have raffle tickets for purchase at local businesses for a chance to win cash prizes.

  • Gates Opened at 9:00 AM and Closed at 5:00 PM.

  • Chainsaw carving throughout the day.

  • Registration for the auction started 1 hour before the auction start.

Images from the 19th Annual Hackensack Chainsaw Event | September 2023

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