EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Competitors from all over the world are in Eau Claire trying to win a contest, using a log, and a chainsaw. But what you might not know is that the saws are roaring to preserve history.
“Eau Claire had the most saw mills than any place in the world. Chippewa Falls had the biggest mill in the world, so lots of logging history in this area,” said the executive director of Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum Diana Peterson.
The museum has hosted thousands of students and visitors from all over the country and the world over the years.
Museum says the competition is the only fundraiser they have and without it would be hard to keep moving along with the times.
“If we didn’t have the competition we would be able to fund our day-to-day activities but it would be really hard to upgrade anything, put in new exhibits and put in new lighting, which we need,” explained Peterson.
Organizers say a log carving competition to help raise money just felt right.
“It certainly fits in with the logging era and the logs. Anywhere you drive in Eau Claire you see evidence of the logging era. We have Randall Park, we have Carson Park, all started by lumber barons. A lot of the streets are named for lumber barons,” added Peterson.
“The Paul Bunyan Camp has been here for years and almost every grade school kid has been through here,” said event attendee Chris Debruyckere.
Peterson says besides funding the museum, the idea behind the event is to show people an art form they don't normally get to see.
“This is just outstanding, everybody should see it! They're artists, that is all I can say,” added Debruyckere.
From statues carved out of logs, to the buildings made out of them at the museum.
“It’s just a huge part of what we are and who we are in the Chippewa Valley,” added Peterson.
The championship is expected to bring 700-thousand dollars into the area this weekend. Organizers say they're hoping the event brings in 25-thousand dollars for the museum itself. The championship runs through Sunday.