Carvers guild planning first waterfowl festival

Published 8:24 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018



A waterfowl festival is coming to Ocracoke.

The new Ocracoke Island Decoy Carvers Guild is the sponsor of the inaugural Ocracoke Island Waterfowl Festival, set for April 21 at the Ocracoke School gymnasium. The Ocracoke Foundation sponsors the nonprofit guild.

Dave O’Neal, an island resident and owner of Down Point Decoy Gallery, is the festival’s featured carver. The festival will include presentations on the art of decoy carving, raffles and local food.

The new guild, with open membership at $25 (yearly) a person, encourages carvers, whittlers, collectors and people who want to learn decoy carving to join its membership. Members may attend the festival, which will be an annual event, at no cost. The guild plans to have monthly meetings, with the next meeting set for 7 p.m. March 1 at the Ocracoke Community Center.

“Waterfowling has been a dramatic part of Ocracoke’s heritage and this folk art needs to be kept from becoming a lost art,” said John Simpson about why the guild was formed.

The guild selected a root head goose decoy carved by Ike O’Neal in the 1920s for its logo. Such decoys derive that name because the head and neck are made from fallen trees on the island, mostly cedar.