Waterfowl Festival kicks off 48th year
The 48th Annual Waterfowl Festival begins today with opening ceremonies at 4 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre. The Premiere Night Party will follow from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at the Waterfowl Festival headquarters, which also hosts the “Making Way for Ducklings” auction to benefit local scholarships at 7 p.m.
The premiere night party benefits the conservation work of Waterfowl Chesapeake and the Festival to create, restore and conserve waterfowl and their habitat in the Chesapeake Bay region.
The Festival has long depended on scores of local volunteers as well as participation by talented artists. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees — John Flohr, Albert Pritchett and Henry Stansbury — have been longtime supporters of the Waterfowl Festival, whether as volunteers, board members, or as an artist.
The Festival kicks off in earnest on Friday, Nov. 9, and continues through Sunday, Nov. 11. The Waterfowl Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the Festival are $20 each, which gives access for all three days, with children under 10 admitted free. Some activities are not included in the general admission fee.
Canadian artist Eric Tardif is this year’s featured artist. Jeff Rechin of Virginia is this year’s master carver.
The Festival features perennially popular events like the world waterfowl calling championships, retriever and raptor demonstrations, Dock Dogs, and art exhibits.
Other highlights include:
• Activities for kids, including art activities, fishing derby and miniature decoy painting;
• Exhibits and vendors for sportsmen, including waterfowling artifacts and sporting arms exhibits, and the Sportsman’s Pavilion, and calling contests, including the World Championship goose, live goose, live duck and team goose calling contests;
• Wonderful food from nonprofit organizations at concession stands located at various Waterfowl Festival venues, offering Festival-goers a wide range of food choices while supporting worthy causes; and
• Shopping opportunities — in addition to the art for sale, the Festival offers the Artisans Gifts & Workshop, Festival Shoppes and Buy, Sell, Swap.
Visitors also will want to visit some of the many restaurants and stores in Easton and Talbot County during their trip here for the Waterfowl Festival.
The Festival has raised more than $6.5 million since 1971 for regional waterfowl and habitat conservation efforts, education and research.
Founded in 2011, Waterfowl Chesapeake is the Festival’s primary beneficiary, with a mission of creating, restoring and conserving waterfowl habitat throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and nearby coastal bays.
Waterfowl Festival Inc. is a non profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to wildlife conservation, the promotion of wildlife art and the celebration of life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Complete information about the Waterfowl Festival is available in the official guide and at www.waterfowlfestival.org. Pocket guides featuring schedules and maps are available at the Waterfowl Festival headquarters at South and Harrison streets and at vendors around town.
The Waterfowl Festival offers a range of exhibits, events and activities for young and old, local residents and visitors. Come out and enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors of this year’s Festival.