CHICAGO, IL – March 31, 2008 - The four members of the ECHO Carving Team have set their sites on once again capturing a seat in the Annual ECHO Chain Saw Carving Series Championship, scheduled to occur this year under the canopy of the world famous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Mike Bihlmaier of Marengo, IL; Mark Colp of Lakeport, CA; Jason Emmons of Branchville, IN; and Bob King of Edgewood, WA have appeared as members of ECHO’s national carving team since 2004 when ECHO first formed the team. The company started the ECHO Carving Series and Championship the same year.
The four hope to be chosen after qualifying in one of four events leading to the Championship to be held October 3 – 5, 2008 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over that weekend, eight world-class chain saw carvers will compete for cash, prizes and the ECHO cup.  Last year all four team members made the finals, with team member Bob King capturing first place for the second year.
This fall the eight pro-carver finalists will have 20 hours to produce masterpiece sculptures.  The final sculptures will be judged on Sunday, October 5th and then auctioned with all proceeds benefiting the Make a Wish Foundation of New Mexico. This year’s carving theme mirrors the Fiesta’s ----“Launching Dreams” and ECHO has set a goal of raising two wishes per auctioned sculpture. One “wish” is $5,000.
The ECHO team can expect a competitive pro-carver field of more than 75 contestants attempting to reach the Championship by participating in the series. Each ECHO qualifying event produces two pro-carver finalists. Any duplicate winners will be filled with at-large contestants based on a point system.  The four qualifying events leading to the Championship are:
-The Cole Chevrolet Mountain Carving Invitational, Bluefield, WV (May 23-25)
-The National Road Chainsaw Carving Festival, Addison, PA (June 12-14)
-The Oregon Divisional Championship, Reedsport, OR (June 12-15)
-The Chetwynd Invitational Chain Saw Carving Championship, Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada (June 12-15).
Visit over the next few months to follow the team’s progress and the series. You can see the 2007 Championship at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo on You Tube! Follow the link
The Fiesta is a perfect visual venue for the 2008 Championship. With 700 participating balloons, the Balloon Fiesta is the largest ballooning event in the world, the most photographed event on earth and the largest annual international event held in the U.S.  More than 400,000 visitors are expected opening weekend October 4 and 5, the same weekend as the ECHO Championship.  Visit for more details and schedules.
ECHO INCORPORATED is a leading manufacturer of professional-grade, high performance hand-held outdoor power equipment for commercial and residential use.