SAVANNA – Sawdust flew as animals took shape from wood Saturday outside of Savanna Home and Hardware during the Ace store's grand reopening.
Artist Dave Watson, of Watson's Woods in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, used a chainsaw to work on an eagle statue to donate to the new store, at 108 Main St.
Sullivan's Foods opened the hardware store at the site of the former House of Events banquet hall.
"The deer and the eagle will stay at the store," Watson said, gesturing toward a bust of a deer that used real antlers in the creation.
Watson said he woodburns most of his work to give it color, a do-it-yourself approach which many of the visitors to the store might share. The new store features a wide variety of items for virtually any job – plumbing, painting, lawn and garden, bird feeding, Christmas decorations, electronics care, and more.
Sullivan's President Scott Sullivan greeted visitors Saturday, and said it'd been a steady stream of customers.
"We're expecting to be busy all day," Sullivan said.
Cups, a grill and cookies were given away, while customers from both Carroll County and further away looked over what the new store has to offer.
Kate McNally of Palatine said she'd been visiting Palisades State Park north of Savanna, and showed off some of the items she bought.
"I've got batteries and duct tape," McNally said.
Nick Law of Savanna said it's nice to have a hardware store back in Savanna.
"They've got a very good selection of chain. They have anything you want," Law said.
Brandon Kaufman, 21, of Savanna, and Shae Williams, 20, of Thomson, were in the store to purchase hunting supplies.
"It's good for a small community to have this," Williams said.
"I think it's nice," Kaufman said.
In a previous Prairie Advocate story earlier this year, Sullivan's vice president of human resources Kathryn Christensen said the Sullivan family felt a definite need in Savanna for a hardware store after the closure of the Savanna Shopko earlier this year.
"Half of it used to be a Dollar General, and the other half was the House of Events. Dollar General rented half the space for 5 years, and the House of Events closed 4 years ago," said Christensen, one of the children of Sullivan's founders John and June Sullivan.
The Ace store employs about 10 people. Hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Go to sullivansfoods.net for more information.