“The festival is a celebration of Eastern Shore culture, the local community and wildlife,” said Margaret Enloe, executive director of the Waterfowl Festival.
Festival visitors will have the chance to meet wildlife artists including painters, sculptors, photographers and carvers, whose work will be displayed in galleries across downtown Easton.
Enloe said there are a lot of new activities this year, including a “Wine & Watercolors” paint party, a concert for conservation by the Dixieland jazz band, Sac Au Lait, and “yappy hour,” a dog-friendly evening within the beer garden, among other events. There will also be a craft beer pavilion for attendants to sample from local breweries.
Popular attractions include the Dock Dogs competition Friday through Sunday at Easton Middle School, retriever demonstrations happening all weekend and a kids fishing derby, which will instruct children on how to cast and reel in their line. Both fly fishing and raptor demonstrations also take place over the weekend.
The World Waterfowl Calling Championship occurs Friday and Saturday, in which large audiences gather at Easton High School to watch competitors imitate waterfowl calls.
This year marks the 47th annual Waterfowl Festival, which typically gathers more than 15,000 people throughout the weekend.
“A lot of people think of it as an Eastern Shore homecoming event,” Enloe said.
The festival began in 1970 with just three exhibits. It has grown since then to include a non-profit organization focusing on wildlife conservation, the promotion of wildlife art and the appreciation of Eastern Shore life in Maryland.
“It has an incredibly long history and an incredibly large following,” Enloe said. “What’s really fun is that we’re seeing a third generation of supporters.”
The general admission ticket provides access to all the participating art galleries in town, the craft brew pavilion, live entertainment, contests, demonstrations and vendors, according to Enloe.