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SteelFab, FDTC Win 9th Annual Welding Rodeo

The familiar sounds of clanking metal returned to Francis Marion University’s Arts International Festival on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Florence-Darlington Technical College’s ninth annual Welding Sculpture Rodeo.

This year’s contest featured two new winners in the professional and student divisions. Florence’s SteelFab of South Carolina won for the pros, while the team from FDTC won the amateur rodeo. 

For five years now, the daylong festival has hosted FDTC’s welding sculpture competition. FDTC’s Educational Foundation and Lincoln Electric sponsored the free event on FMU’s campus. Teams had nine hours to create their work of art and this year’s theme was the Olympics.

Competing in this year’s rodeo were Darlington County Institute of Technology, Dillon County Applied Technology Center, Duke Energy, FDTC, Frazier Industrial of Darlington County, GE Healthcare, Richland County's Heyward Career and Technology Center, SteelFab and Williamsburg Technical College.

The contest, which was behind the FMU’s Smith University Center, started at 7:30 that morning with teams running in a “scrap dive.” The competitors picked out scrap metal to mold into their Olympic sculptures.

A three-person panel of judges picked the best pieces and the artwork was auctioned afterwards to benefit scholarships for students at Tech. SteelFab’s creation was sold for a bid of $500.

For more information about the ninth annual FDTC Welding Sculpture Competition, contact Lauren Dorton with the FDTC Educational Foundation office via email at or by calling 843-661-8002.

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