Festival offers hands-on activitiesPublished 5:16pm Tuesday, February 4, 2014
From decoy carvers to wildfowl callers, the 19th-annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships this weekend celebrate and showcase the best in wildlife art.
Organized by the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild and the Washington Tourism Development Authority, the festival takes place at several venues in downtown Washington — the Civic Center, Peterson Building, Turnage Theater and Festival Park. The festival, one of Washington’s signature events, includes the unveiling of the painting selected for the 2014 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp at a preview reception Friday, waterfowl-calling contests and decoy-painting competitions for children. The festival opens to the public Saturday and Sunday. A one-day pass to the festival costs 10. A two-day pass costs $15. The pass allows access to all events.
Free shuttles will transport festival-goers to the event’s different venues.
The carving competition includes 14 divisions with new and expanded contests at the Peterson Building.
Lynn Lewis, the city’s tourism-development director, is excited about new additions the festival and the return of some activities that were not held in recent years.
“We are bringing the sportsmen’s tent back, and that is something that is back by popular demand, for sure,” Lewis said. “We are also going to have a number of activities for people to engage in … some hands-on things to do. A lot of that will be centered at the Festival Park venue. We’re calling that the Vantage South Bank Sportsmen’s Tent and Outdoor Market at Festival Park.”
Guilford Bowhunters will set up Archery Alley, where adults and children can have archery experiences, Lewis said. Jimmy’s Boathouse, located in Marshallberg, will be at the festival.
“He’s actually going to handcraft a wooden skiff while he’s here this weekend,” Lewis said.
For more information about the festival, visit the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild’s website at www.ecwguild.com or call 1-800-999-3857, extensions 2 or 3.