Carving championships part of festival’s various activities

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

It’s back. The North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships are a part of the 2019 East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival again. The festival, set for Feb. 7-9, is presented by Arts of the Pamlico, East Carolina Wildfowl Guild and Washington Tourism Development Authority.

“We’re glad to have the decoy-carving championships back this year. Jay Sullivan with the guild is coordinating that,” said Debra Torrence, executive director of the Arts of the Pamlico.

The festival also features a children’s decoy-painting contest, soap decoy carving, retriever dog demonstrations, clay target shooting, artists and exhibits.

“We’re going to have a ‘glamping’ display — glamorous camping. We are going to raffle off the tent,” said Torrence. “We’ve got a couple food trucks coming and we’re doing workshops, including a duck-calling workshop,”

Ducks Unlimited donated items for sale, demonstrations of wood-burning techniques and an assortment of vendors will be available. “We’re chock-full of vendors,” Torrence said.

The Beaufort County Literacy Volunteers will be selling seafood chowder for the first time.

“The festival’s T-shirts will be back, too,” Torrence added.

The arts council is getting help with the festival.

“We are helping out with the marketing effort,” said Erin Ruyle, director of the Washington Tourism Development Authority and in her first year of involvement with the festival. “We are helping out with advertising.”

Tickets for a one-day pass are $7 each or $12 each for a weekend pass. Add $2 for credit card or Paypal purchases online.

On Feb. 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a sponsors’ reception and unveiling of the top-five finishers in the duck-stamp contest, which will be judged Jan. 29. The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 8 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 9.

As for the North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships, entry fees have been reduced. In case of a lot of entries from one person, there is a maximum-capped entry fee.

There are eight divisions in the competition, including the International Wildfowl Carvers Association’s Tri-County Telephone Canvas Gunning Decoys, the East Carolina Pamlico Gunning Decoys, the working decoys are in memory of Dr. Charles Moore, ECWG contemporary antique display and the IWCA style shorebirds.

Prizes range from $350 to $5, depending on professional, intermediate or novice status.

Contact Jay Sullivan at for applications for the decoy-carving championships. Applications are open through the show. Contact Jay Sullivan at for applications for the decoy-carving championships. Applications are open through the show. Sponsorships may be obtained by contacting Torrence at

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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