Woodcarving, other attractions coming to county’s 2016 Relay

Shelby County's combined Relay For Life event is set for Friday, May 20, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Columbiana Sports Complex. The annual event will feature a woodcarving artist and many other attractions for families to enjoy while honoring those touched by cancer. (Contributed)

Shelby County’s combined Relay For Life event is set for Friday, May 20, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Columbiana Sports Complex. The annual event will feature a woodcarving artist and many other attractions for families to enjoy while honoring those touched by cancer. (Contributed)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Armed with a chainsaw and 10 years of woodcarving experience, Montevallo artist Bear Jones with Wood Worx Inc. will transform reclaimed wood into keepsakes for people at the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life in Shelby County.

As Relay kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, May 20, Jones will begin a carving demonstration for those interested in watching each stage of the process for creating one piece, from start to finish.

Jones uses only salvaged wood for his carved creations.

“I carve just about anything and everything you can think of,” Jones said, adding he plans to bring finished items from his Homewood studio to Relay, including an eagle and an owl. “I love doing it.”

As a nod to the overarching theme of Relay, Jones will carve and sell individual wooden ribbon motifs. Using roughly 8-inch-by-10-inch pieces of cedar wood, Jones will use his chainsaw to create relief carvings of ribbons.

“You could hang it on the wall like a picture or plaque,” Jones said of the pieces, which he can personalize with writing using a dremel tool according to people’s requests. “I’ll have some ready prior to the event, then I was going to do some more at the event.”

Jones said the purple-red tint of the wood also ties in with Relay’s signature purple.

Proceeds from Jones’ sales will benefit Relay For Life.

This year’s joint Relay For Life event will be held from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Columbiana Sports Complex.

If inclement weather arrives, the event will relocate to the Shelby County High School gym. An announcement about the final location will be posted on the Relay For Life of South Shelby Facebook page at noon May 20.

The Survivors’ Walk will start at 6 p.m. Luminaries, a special candle-lighting ceremony to celebrate the lives of those who have lost their battle with cancer, will be at 10 p.m. with a closing ceremony at 11:45 p.m.

Live entertainment will be provided by Last Chance, Lake Hills Worship and Intermission, along with dance performances including Zumba, Dream Makers and Dancing at Tiffeny’s.

Other attractions will include Magic City Face Art Balloon Twisting, games and themed laps each hour (themes include Paint Your World Purple, Favorite Decade, Super Heroes, Crazy Hats, Sports and Light Up the Night.

A box car derby will be held to promote the American Cancer Society’s patient transportation program, Roadside Recovery.

On-site fundraisers will include snacks, dinners, desserts, games, lap beads and drawings for prizes and gift certificates for bowling, plays, restaurants, the Birmingham Zoo, McWane Center, Sky Dive Alabama and a free subscription to Shelby County Newspapers Inc. lifestyles magazines.

For more information, visit the Relay For Life of South Shelby on Facebook or Relayforlife.org/southshelbyal.