Photos by Michaela Kwoka-Coleman.
The Long Beach Convention Center is hosting the 2017 World Wood Day this week, a celebration of the environment, renewable resources and sustainability. The theme of this year’s celebration, “Roots,” was chosen as a way to celebrate culture, identity and diversity through wood, according to event organizers.
Beginning Tuesday, March 21, which is the vernal equinox and International Day of Forests, the week-long festival features wood crafting, folk art, children’s events, musical and dance performances and a symposium.
Around 100 different countries and regions are being represented, Steve Ambrose, a coordinator from the International Wood Culture Society, said.
Outside of the convention center is a large temple bus, designed by world renowned San Francisco-based sculptor David Best, with the help of an international troupe of volunteers. Julia Nelson-Gal, one of the volunteers, said it took about three to four weeks to create the portable installation. Nelson-Gal said wood was bolted onto a metal bus and then cut out and designed by lasers.
Best frequently designs temples for Burning Man, and the temple bus from World Wood Day will end up at the festival this year as well.
— Michaela Kwoka (@newsmichaelakc) March 23, 2017
In one section of the convention center, teams of three to four people are spending the week carving ornate designs into slabs of wood, which they will showcase Saturday and Sunday. On the other side of the room, men and women create furniture, such as a chili pepper-shaped coffin.
Last year, World Wood Day was held in Nepal. It has also previously been held in China, Tanzania and Turkey.
World Wood Day runs through Sunday from 9:00AM to 6:00PM. For the full schedule and ticket prices click here.
The Long Beach Convention Center is located at 300 East Ocean Boulevard.