Maryland’s Waterfowl Festival

Easton, Maryland–located just inland from the Chesapeake Bay–is hosting its 39th annual Waterfowl Festival this weekend. From Friday, November 13th to Sunday, November 15th, visitors can attend the festival, which pays tribute to the annual migrating of Canada geese over the area. This small-town festival is surprisingly full of things to do, here are a few:

View wildlife paintings, sculptures, carvings, and photographs produced by local artisans in locations around the town and in the main festival area. Don’t miss the demonstrations where the craftsmen show the techniques they use to create their art. On the Thursday before the festival starts, you can take a master’s class in painting, carving, or photography from experienced professionals. Classes are either three or six hours and cost an additional fee.

Outdoorsmen and -women should check out the Sportsman’s Pavilion at the Elk’s Lodge. Visitors can peruse vendors hawking everything from hunting gear to boats and “exotic” hunting trips. Then head over to Easton High School where you can haggle for some new duck calls and other hunting or fishing memorabilia. Have a knack for goose calling? Well, it’s time to unveil it at the “one and only” World Championship Goose Calling Contest. Amateurs and experts alike are welcome to enter one of the six contests and compete for prizes ranging from $250 – $10,000.  Preliminaries begin Friday, so you had better start practicing.

Hungry? Grab some crab soup and oysters and listen as a barbershop quartet serenades you.  A variety of entertainment will perform at the festival throughout the weekend. Need a break? Go relax in the Wine Tasting Pavilion–admission is included with your festival ticket–where you can sample a variety of Maryland wines paired with cheese and sweets. 

This “small town celebration” is a truly family-friendly event. Children under the age of 16 can participate in the Kids Fishing Derby from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Kids are provided with rods, bait, and guidance as they attempt to hook a fish. Young fishermen are presented with a Polaroid of their first catch along with a certificate and prize, but the fish are returned to the pond. At Easton Elementary School, kids can get close to eggs, turtles and snakes and can feel the feathers of a live owl. They can also make pinecone birdfeeders, paint a decoy, or decorate a goose cookie. 

Tickets to the festival are only $10–the lowest price since 1992–and include entry to all the exhibits and demonstrations, the wine pavilion, and to all competitions except the finals. A portion of the ticket price goes to benefit wildlife habitat preservation and conservation. This quaint festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore isn’t only for woodsmen.  A jaunt out to Easton is worth your time next weekend; I know I’ll be there!

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Photos Courtesy of the Waterfowl Festival.

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