Get­ting Started

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CON­NIE CON­NOLLY cconnolly@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @con­nie_s­tar­dem.

— Fri­day morn­ing dawned sunny and chilly, but easy smiles on the faces of bun­dled-up visi­tors and ven­dors con­veyed the ex­cite­ment of be­ing part of the 47th an­nual Water­fowl Fes­ti­val in down­town Eas­ton on Nov. 10.

Dr. Bill Barnes manned the hot cof­fee, cider and roasted peanut cart for the Eas­ton Ru­ri­tan Club out­side the Water­fowl Build­ing at Har­ri­son and South streets ahead of the open­ing cer­e­mony.

Mayor Robert Wil­ley was on the scene, greet­ing lo­cal of­fi­cials and visi­tors who gath­ered for the brief open­ing cer­e­mony that fea­tured the play­ing of the na­tional an­them.

“It’s a nice at­mos­phere for peo­ple to walk around, get to­gether, en­joy the area, en­joy the fel­low­ship and have a good time,” Wil­ley said.

John and Yuki Peck­ham came in from Los An­ge­les for their first Water­fowl Fes­ti­val. Their toy poo­dle Ace was clad in trousers and sweater.

“This is a great place, a great fes­ti­val. The peo­ple are just won­der­ful,” John Peck­ham said. “Ev­ery­where we go here, the peo­ple are just very friendly.” They are hop­ing to move to the area in the fu­ture.

Visi­tors grav­i­tated to­ward the street food venues that of­fered hot food and drinks.

Jesse Zelin­ski shucked Chop­tank River oys­ters, Scott’s United Methodist Church vol­un­teers fried soft shell crabs, and the Haschens of Ban­ning’s Tav­ern la­dled chili and soup and grilled bratwurst.

“Peo­ple are com­ing back for sec­onds, es­pe­cially for the brats,” Linda Haschen said.

In­side the Avalon The­atre art gallery, Jarl Weyant of Whis­tle Stop Win­ery in Hy­des, Md., manned one of the new Fes­ti­val fea­tures. Visi­tors could pur­chase sam­ples of wine.

Sim­i­lar tast­ing venues were set up at Art at the Pavil­ion and the Water­fowl Fes­ti­val build­ing (the old ar­mor y).

Fes­ti­val “duck­sit­ters,” teens who vol­un­teer and earn ser­vice hours, were on hand to help out where they were needed. Se­lene Wag­ner, a sixth-grader at Eas­ton Mid­dle School, stayed warm and toasty in her mas­cot cos­tume as the Fox.

PHO­TOS BY CON­NIE CON­NOLLY

A bun­dled-up Bill Barnes manned the hot bev­er­ages and roasted peanuts stand spon­sored by the Eas­ton Ru­ri­tan Club as the Water­fowl Fes­ti­val got un­der­way Fri­day morn­ing.

Keep­ing warm in the Avalon The­atre art gallery, Jarl Weyant of Whis­tle Stop Win­ery in Hy­des, Md., manned one of the new Fes­ti­val fea­tures. Visi­tors could pur­chase sam­ples of wine.

Eas­ton Mayor Robert Wil­ley smiled and greeted passersby as he awaited the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 47th Water­fowl Fes­ti­val on Fri­day morn­ing.

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