Capturing the unique Eastern Shore spirit for almost four decades, the 38th Annual Waterfowl Festival will be held in Easton, Maryland, November 14, 15 and 16, 2008.
Since 1971, the Festival has drawn generations of art and sporting enthusiasts, along with families looking for a fun and affordable outing. The nonprofit organization’s proceeds have funded more than $5 million in conservation and environmental education projects, restoring and enhancing Chesapeake Bay wildlife habitat.
Historic Easton, a colonial gem of the Eastern Shore, is the stage for the show. The Waterfowl Festival has more than a dozen venues for galleries, vendors and activities throughout town, providing convenient shuttle buses to get visitors around easily. The three-day weekend is packed with things to see and do for all ages and interests.
A festival would not be complete without food and music and the Waterfowl Festival amply provides both. Local nonprofit organizations set up convenient food stands offering traditional Eastern Shore culinary delights. Hungry visitors can sample crab soup, crab cakes, oysters and enough other options to please any palate.
Street musicians perform at various locations, entertaining visitors as they stroll about the compact downtown area. After Hours Concerts are offered two evenings at the Historic Avalon Theatre. Friday night features the XPD’s Band and Show, with its toe-tapping mix of Motown, R&B, jazz and top-40 tunes. A Festival ticket earns discounted admission. Saturday evening’s concert by the USAF Vector Brass Ensemble is free.
Outdoor sporting and wildlife pursuits have always drawn people to the Eastern Shore and much of the Waterfowl Festival highlights these interests. The Calling Contests entertain audiences with the very best in goose and duck callers performing in world championship competitions. At the ever-popular Retriever Demonstrations, trained canines show off their amazing skills.
Visitors can enter their own dogs in the DockDogs® competition. This fun-filled event has dogs of all breeds trying to outdo each other in splashing farthest into a pool of water or going “Extreme Vertical” in a high-jump variation. Sometimes the best show is watching the ones who say, “No, thanks!”
The family-friendly Festival offers a number of activities focused on kids. The Kids Fishing Derby, raptor flight demonstrations and live wildlife displays connect youngsters with the Eastern Shore’s outdoor life. They can also try their hands at carving and painting in a variety of kids’ art activities.
The Eastern Shore is famous for its wildlife and natural beauty and the Waterfowl Festival captures that essence in its many art galleries. The nation’s finest wildlife artists, sculptors, carvers and photographers offer work for sale at prices to fit any budget, from holiday gift-buyer to the most discriminating collector.
The Masters Gallery spotlights the most elite wildlife painters and sculptors, such as this year’s Featured Artist, world-champion wood sculptor John T. Sharp. Visitors can watch carvers, painters and sculptors in action at the Artists Gallery & Workshop. At these and the half dozen other Festival art venues, one can often meet and chat with the artists while purchasing their work.
New this year is the Guest Artist Gallery, joining the Masters Gallery in the historic Academy Art Museum. This new Festival venue will offer a collection of work from an international group of top artists rarely seen at other shows.
The mid-November Festival provides shoppers with a perfect opportunity to jump-start their holiday purchases with handcrafted gifts from the Wildlife Emporium. Visitors can wander through aisle after aisle of decoys and sporting paraphernalia offered by vendors at Buy Sell Swap or bid on antique birds at the Decoy Auction. Additional outdoor wares are featured at the Sportsman’s Pavilion, where shoppers can find everything from fishing rods and dog collars to kayaks and big-game hunting trips.
Sample fine wines. Meet the newly announced winner of the Federal Duck Stamp Competition. View a mini-museum of priceless, antique decoys at the Waterfowling Artifacts exhibit.
All this and much more await visitors to the 2008 Waterfowl Festival. With something for everyone and more than one can see and do in three short days, the Festival attracts both new attendees and those who come back year after year to catch the Eastern Shore spirit.
Multi-Day Tickets are $24. One-Day Tickets are $12 each for Friday or Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children 12 and under accompanied by an adult are free. For more information, visit the Waterfowl Festival website,www.waterfowlfestival.org, or call 410-822-45