Wildfowl lovers fill downtown

Published 2:22 am Sunday, February 8, 2009

By Staff
Festival draws crowds with shows, contests
Staff Writer
Washington gave itself over to all things related to the order anseriformes Saturday as the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild Arts Festival — and tourists by the bucketful — came to town.
Festival-goers flocked to gawk at wooden carvings, detailed paintings and spot-on vocal imitations of geese, ducks and swans, the fowl that make up anseriformes.
Veteran carver and Raleigh resident Mark Sturcko, who has traveled to similar shows nationwide, said the show in Washington is a quality event.
Sturcko was in the Improved Order of Red Men’s lodge on East Third Street, where decoys were being judged in a plastic tank that looked like a slightly outsized kiddie pool.
When that’s happening, the artist is utterly powerless, Sturcko said.
Judges study the floating faux fowl from every angle before declaring a victor. Plenty of contests had already been judged at the lodge Saturday, but the process won’t finish until today.
Shawn Bennett of the Southern Classic Duck, Goose and Swan Calling Championships announced winners Saturday night.
He said the championships were the longest in the contest’s history because of record turnout in junior divisions.
Bennett also pointed out that the only female to enter, Candace Pegram, ran the state junior goose calling championship for the second year in a row.
Other winners were:
World Swan Calling Championship, Danny Baker; N.C. State Goose Calling Championship, Joe Finney; N.C. State Duck Calling Championship, Matthew Fros; Pamlico Regional, Allen Stanley; Southern Classic Open, Allen Stanley; Junior World Swan Calling Championship, Cody Hardison; and North Carolina Junior Duck Calling Championship, Hunter Toler.