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24th. Annual Big Sur Jade Festival

 I wanted to share what I do as a community volunteer each year, I produce the Big Sur Jade Festival, a volunteer-run event that features the largest  lapidary show dedicated to jade in the country. I am a Director of the non profit, and my specific area is the entertainment venue. I'll attach a pdf of our entertainment flyer, and here is our website: http://www.bigsurjadefestival.org/.

What does this have to do with knives? Well, I will take a bag full of "give away" knives with me, and volunteers who prove to be valuable to the event will be awarded with a pocket knife. The "grand prize" give away knife will be a US-made Buck 450 from the 90's, the others will be various imports that I have accumulated. The volunteer who I judge to be "most valuable" will get that 450, which is a nice knife, (I have another in my EDC rotation; one of my faves).

That's all, just wanted to share the event, which provides educational scholarship monies for local school kids. I'll post photos of volunteers with their knives after I recover from the event next week. Have a great weekend, I plan to have a great one myself.

Entertainment%20Flyer.pdf

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Comment by Syd Carr on October 13, 2015 at 12:50

I am one tired guy today after five days of manic effort to pull off this event, but I want to share a few photos with you. The first is two custom knives, both with redwood burl handles, the top with a bone butt & cougar teeth. Next is a couple of jade bladed knives with bronze handles, and you can see the jade battle axe at the bottom. Next is the way we start each day, our world famous morning drum circle. We put the kiddies in the middle with percussion stuff and encourage them to join in and bang away with the rest of us.The next is one of some of our entertainers on the stage I made myself and my sound system. Lastly is the view of a Pacific sunset from the festival entrance. This is a free event, with all proceeds going to summer camp activities for local school children, (the site is the local K-12 public school). Our attendance was around 6,000 over three days, and it couldn't happen without all the wonderful hard working volunteers. Here is a link to our Facebook Group with lots of other photos: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BigSurJadeFestival/

Comment by Syd Carr on October 6, 2015 at 20:17

Thanks Jan. One of the ways we raise money is we have a raffle, with local merchants and our vendors donating items for that. and a nice knife would make a fine raffle prize. There will be a few Cherokee Stoneworks and Sante Fe Stoneworks knives at various vendor booths for sale, but we have never had a custom knife as a prize. I've even considered taking the handles off of a 110 myself, then handing it over to one of our world class jade carvers to see what they can come up with, but that is one of my "round tuit" things, (meaning I haven't gotten around to it). I will be sure to take a bunch of photos, and will post some of them here. The jade carvings and carvers at our show are truly world class, I'll be sure to share those pics with y'all.

Thanks for the kudos, but my volunteers are who make it all happen, they are the real heroes. I'd just be an old fuzzy guy with a guitar and a clipboard, (and a bunch of knives), if not for them.

Comment by Jan Carter on October 6, 2015 at 20:04

Syd,

This is just awesome!  It is a lot of work but look at you!  Helping the community, growing the knife community and letting kids know the world cares!

I want you to remember this for next year, iKC would love to help!

Jan

Comment by Syd Carr on October 6, 2015 at 19:14

Why thank you Jeremy, this is my 16th year with this event, and if I will have anything to leave behind when I go, I'm glad it will be a legacy of volunteerism and community service, (God knows I won't have any money to leave behind because I buy too many knives!).

Of course yes, it is a HUGE amount of work to put on an event like this. Last year we had an attendance of over 7,000+ over three days, and it requires around 30 volunteers all day every day to make it run, (of course I am also the volunteer chairman). What keeps me coming back is the grant request letters we get in May from local students asking for a grant for summer educational activities, (our forte). We gave over $6K for those activities last year, and expect to give even more this year. Reading those hand-written letters from 8-10 yr olds is something I look forward to each year. That part is really a very special thing, and it really is what keeps me coming back. We also donate to the local volunteer fire brigade, the local school district, and other community organizations, but our "thing" is giving money to deserving kids for things like volleyball camp, horse camp, scuba camp, or just camp camp. We also help deserving working locals with assistance for summer day care to lesson their load.

Thanks for the good wishes, please pray I hold up to another year of these manic preparations and the chaos during the event. I must admit I find myself wishing it were November already, sometimes I find myself saying "I'm getting too old for this s**t", but I always get over it and just get on with the job. Thank goodness for like-minded young(er) people who help me make it all happen. I tell them all the time, "It's not my festival, it's yours".


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Comment by Jeremy B. Buchanan on October 6, 2015 at 18:13

Thank you for sharing with us Syd. Looks like a lot of fun. Kudos to you for organizing and putting this on. I hope you have lots of volunteers to help you. I know events such as this takes a lot of work to put on. I am glad to see that you are willing to give up some of your own knives to reward the volunteers. I hope you share some pics with us, of this year's event. Enjoy!

White River Knives

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