2015 Festival Highlights
- The 45th annual Waterfowl Festival will be held November 13-15, 2015, with Premiere Night on Thursday evening, November 12th.
- The Waterfowl Festival takes place in the colonial town of Easton, Maryland. The historic buildings of Easton serve as venues for galleries and exhibits, while events and demonstrations are held at the surrounding ponds and scenic areas.
The Waterfowl Festival was founded in 1971 by a group of Eastern Shore sportsmen and women looking to share the unique heritage of the area while raising funds to protect the wildlife and habitat what were integral to the region’s way of life. Starting with 50 exhibitors and 4,000 visitors, the first Festival turned a profit of $7,500, which was contributed to Ducks Unlimited.
The Waterfowl Festival contributes the proceeds of each annual event to Waterfowl Chesapeake – the Festival’s sister organization that focuses exclusively on supporting conservation work around the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Founded in 2011, Waterfowl Chesapeake builds on the conservation tradition of the Waterfowl Festival, which has granted more than $5.7 million to over fifty national and regional conservation organizations and their projects.
Promotion of Wildlife Art
The Festival provides an environment for artisans to gather, exhibit and sell their work. More than 300 nationally recognized artists are invited to participate, exhibiting paintings, sculpture, carvings, photography, decoys, crafts and folk art. The public is provided with the opportunity to view and purchase the finest wildlife art available in the world.
A Showcase for the Eastern Shore of Maryland
Autumn is the most spectacular time of year for the Eastern Shore and the Waterfowl Festival in historic Easton shows it off at its best. Thousands of geese fly overhead while thousands of visitors stroll the streets. Local hunting traditions and sportsmen's goods and gear are highlighted in addition to the wildlife art, with the World Championship Goose Calling Contest®, the Mason-Dixon Regional Duck Calling Contest and Delmarva Dock Dogs® Competition taking place as well as retriever demonstrations, wine tasting pavilion, kids activities and much more.
18,000 to 20,000 visitors from throughout the U.S. and other countries attend each year. Art collectors looking for the best in wildlife art, hunting enthusiasts celebrating their traditions and skills, families looking for a weekend getaway, and shoppers seeking the perfect holiday gifts all find something to enjoy at the Waterfowl Festival.
Who Makes It Happen:
More than 1,500 volunteers offer their time and services to stage each year's Festival. More than 60 committees work year-round to organize the events at 12 exhibit locations throughout the town of Easton. A small staff and an eighteen-member volunteer Board of Directors coordinate these efforts.