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Zombies, avocados and woodcarvers

September just might be the month Estero Bay events’ coordinators go bonkers. And we thought summertime was the tourism season.

Planners from the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce, area growers and the California Avocado Commission are serving up countless ways to sample avocados at the annual Morro Bay Avocado and Margarita Festival all day Saturday.

Then for Sunday’s big event, Morro Bay’s Joan Decker and Los Osos’ Jude Long were selected by the San Luis Obispo Library Foundation to co-chair the 11th annual Central Coast Book and Author Festival in Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo.

More than 50 authors will autograph and sell their books. Rumor has it that Los Osos and Morro Bay library directors, Joe Laurenzi and Jackie Kinsey, so intrigued the San Luis Obispo library’s director, Brian Reynolds, that he offered to lead a “zombie parade” in honor of Bram Stoker and award-winning author Jonathan Maberry.

They’re searching for all area zombie-dressers to join him. Maberry will keynote the 27th annual Central Coast Writers’ Conference at Cuesta College and present at Sunday’s festival.

In Cayucos on Saturday and Sunday at the Veterans Memorial Lions Hall, the Central Coast Woodcarvers will host the 34th annual Invitational Woodcarving Show.

“Carvers from around the state and our local chapter will be displaying and selling all types of carvings,” show Chairman Ed Zirbel said. “A whittling contest will be held Saturday for anyone, and Sunday for more experienced whittlers from noon to 3 p.m.”

Zirbel explained there would be demonstrations to showcase different techniques and styles of carving.

Whittling, a basic style of carving, uses only a knife to produce the final product. Caricature carvers use knives and chisels.

Skill levels become more specialized for chip carving, relief carving, architectural carving and wildlife carving. There is also found-wood carving, which is done on fallen wood that is used in its natural state, such as driftwood, tree bark, cypress knees and branches.

The Central Coast Woodcarvers has 49 area members. They carve at their meetings each Wednesday morning at the Cayucos veterans hall. The group welcomes novices and enjoys training anyone who has an interest in creating art from wood.

“There are so many types of carving to arrive at the final product,” Zirbel said. “Almost anyone can find their niche. I always had the interest but never the opportunity. The club helped me find what I was best suited for as I experimented with different genres for three years.”

During the festival, the carvers carve and discuss carving. Many have donated a sample of their work for the weekend’s donation giveaway. Admission is $2. For entry or questions, contact Zirbel at 927-3951.

Reach Judy Salamacha at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 805 801-1422.

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