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Chainsaw artists carve a friend for Bigfoot

Above: Charlie Hubbard, of Gig Harbor, carves a Bigfoot out of cedar during a roadside chainsaw carving competition Sunday in Federal Way. Left: Mark Herrington, a chainsaw carver from Carbonado, works on his rendition of Bigfoot on Sunday in Federal Way. - Margo Horner/The Mirror
Above: Charlie Hubbard, of Gig Harbor, carves a Bigfoot out of cedar during a roadside chainsaw carving competition Sunday in Federal Way. Left: Mark Herrington, a chainsaw carver from Carbonado, works on his rendition of Bigfoot on Sunday in Federal Way.
— image credit: Margo Horner/The Mirror

t Last year’s statue theft inspires competition

Sasquatch Sam, the life-size Bigfoot statue that hangs out in front of Village Chiropractic on Dash Point Road, has a new friend.

Last weekend, three chainsaw woodcarvers competed during a two-day event to create the best cedar rendition of Bigfoot. The winning carving is now on display along Dash Point Road, next to Sasquatch Sam.

The old Bigfoot, which weighs 400 pounds, has become a somewhat of a landmark since it was erected six years ago. At one point last year, the statue was stolen. It was found several days later with the feet removed.

After hearing the story of Federal Way’s Bigfoot, marketing staff at Pemco Insurance decided to get involved.

“We thought ‘Hey, what a great opportunity to kind of help the doctor out,’” said Jon Osterberg, Pemco spokesman.

A roadside chain-saw carving competition fit in perfectly with Pemco’s “A lot like you” advertising campaign, Osterberg said. The campaign focuses on quirky, uniquely Northwest personalities. One of the commercials features a roadside chainsaw woodcarver.

Pemco recruited three Western Washington carvers to participate in the contest and paid them each for their time and materials. Passers-by stopped and voted for their favorite statue. The winning carving, by Charlie Hubbard, was left at Village Chiropractic.

Hubbard’s carving was the tallest, at 9 feet tall. It leans forward slightly and looks as if it’s getting ready to take a step forward. It received 52 percent of the votes. Seventy-eight people voted total.

“It’s really been exciting and fun,” said chiropractor Tom Payne of Village Chiropractic. “I don’t see any downside to this for anybody.”

Hubbard said he and his fellow carvers gathered inspiration for their statues from the Internet.

“We just got on the Internet and got a whole bunch of different pictures,” he said.

Although Hubbard had a good idea of what a Bigfoot ought to look like, without any sketches or rough drafts, he wasn’t sure in the beginning how his would turn out.

“I kind of draw with my saw,” he said.

Hubbard also created chainsaw woodcarvings of Jesus, Mother Theresa and Chief Sealth that are displayed along Interstate 5 near exit 60.

Payne said he plans to have a vote among his patients for the name of the new Bigfoot.

As for Sasquatch Sam, he may be getting repaired. Hubbard discussed the possibility with Payne of replacing Sam’s feet that were cut off during last year’s theft.

Contact Margo Horner: mhorner@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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