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23rd East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival just around the corner

On Feb. 8-9, in downtown Washington, the popular East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival returns. Nearly 30 exhibitors, wildlife artists, duck decoy carving competition, educational and experiential displays and workshops, retriever dog demos, kids crafts and more are coming to town.

Thanks to efforts of several volunteers, support from the City of Washington, Beaufort County, the East Carolina Waterfowl Guild, community members and local businesses, Washington will host the 23rd-annual festival at the Washington Civic Center and throughout downtown.

We are excited about the lineup of exhibitors, new events and the return of old favorites. It’s a great time to come out and support heritage arts and local businesses.

Returning this year is the Duck Decoy Carving Competition. Thanks to the efforts of the Guild and supporting sponsors, this amazing art is back. Carvers will be at work after registering with Guild representative Jay Sullivan at the Peterson Building on Saturday for the competition. The popular kids’ duck decoy painting at the North Carolina Estuarium is back too, so pre-register and hold a spot!

New this year is a 5-Stand Sporting Clay event at Hunters’ Pointe, a duck carving demo by Jerry Talton of Core Sounds, a duck and goose calling workshop on Saturday, Mallory the Mallard and more!

Thanks to the City of Washington’s tourism staff, the 2019 N.C. Duck Stamp competition will get underway next week. The winner will be on display at the Washington Civic Center during the festival.

A silent auction chocked full of great items being collected by Down on Mainstreet partners will be up for bids throughout the festival (bids close Feb. 9 at 4 p.m.). A three-room tent giveaway raffle will be on stage at the Civic Center so be sure to buy your tickets.

Make a day or a weekend of it, and take in the exhibits and wildlife art sale at the historic Turnage Theatre and local art stops throughout downtown.

And come hungry — food and merchant vendors and discounts throughout downtown for ticket holders!

Tickets are $9 or $7 cash pass and $14 or $12 cash weekend passes. Passes are available at the door or in advance by calling the Arts of the Pamlico at 252-946-2504; stop by the historic Turnage Theatre for tickets. The theater is open Tuesdays through Thursday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also buy tickets online www.artsofthepamlico.org/2018/06/09/23rd-annual-wildlife-festival/.

Debra Torrence is the executive director of Arts of the Pamlico.

 

2019 Festival Schedule

Feb. 7

5:30 – 7 p.m.

Set up begins at noon, Washington Civic Center

Sponsor reception and North Carolina Duck Stamp Unveiling, 5:30 p.m., Washington Civic Center

Featured artists, John and Dodi Groesser, and array of wildlife arts for sale and on display, Turnage Theatre

 

Feb. 8

10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Bid and Win, glamping three-room tent raffle and silent auction, Washington Civic Center

Exhibits, vendors and educational and hands-on demos, Washington Civic Center

Featured artists, John and Dodi Groesser, and array of wildlife arts for sale and on display, Turnage Theatre

 

10 a.m. to dusk

5 Stand Sporting Clay Festival Event by Hunters’ Pointe Sporting Clays

506 Decoy Drive, Washington, off of U.S. Highway 17.

Pre-registration required, call 252-975-2529 (10 AM to dusk). No experience required. Guns and protection gear provided. Fee is $12 for youth 16 and under or $19.95 for adults.

 

Feb. 9

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Exhibits, vendors and educational and hands-on demos, Washington Civic Center

Featured artists, John and Dodi Groesser, and array of wildlife arts for sale and on display, Turnage Theatre

Bid & Win: Glamping three-room tent raffle and silent auction, Washington Civic Center (closes at 4 p.m., winners announced 5:30 p.m.)

Duck decoy carving competition, Peterson Building, next to Civic Center

Duck decoy carving demo by Jerry Talton of the Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, Washington Civic Center

Food vendors

Silent auction

 

9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m.

Kids duck decoy painting, North Carolina Estuarium. Pre-registration is required, 252-948-0000.

 

10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.

Retrieving dog demonstrations, Washington Civic Center

 

12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Duck and goose calling seminar, Washington Civic Center

 

2 p.m.

Soap decoy carving, Turnage Theatre