With an almost perfect Fall weekend on the horizon, it’s almost the perfect time for the Wildfowl Festival in Easton, MD – which is lucky because it’s this weekend.
Whether you’re coming from East or from West, the Wildfowl Festival has something for everyone – even if their interest in Wildfowl Art is somewhat limited.
Speaking as someone whose interest in Wildfowl Art is somewhat limited I know from firsthand experience. The previous sentence gets funnier with the more you know about me personally. In this space I will eventually admit everything but for now that’s more than enough to go on. Or to interest anyone.
Fall does Easton a lot of favors. Picturesque on its own, a brisk wind and falling leaves make it special. That part was discovered 41 years ago at the first Waterfowl Festival. Now bringing between 15,000 and 18,000 people into the town during the festival and taking nearly 1,500 volunteers to support it, the festival has evolved into a cultural heritage, art and lifestyle showcase.
Proceeds from the show go toward supporting wildlife conservation and related nonprofits and charities. Since its inception the Waterfowl Festival has raised more than $5 million to support 50 projects.
And it’s a thing to do in Easton, which we don’t get to write about as much as what to do in Ocean City MD or what to do in Annapolis MD. And Easton is reasonably close to both, which makes it perfect for a day trip from either.
So maybe you’re not like me and really like wildfowl art. To those I say you will certainly find a lot of it at the aptly-named festival. Carvings, craftings, paintings and sculpture are probably the easily identifiable art types that will be on prominent display throughout the town. If you like this type of art and you’re in Easton on this weekend and you don’t see anything you like then I think your time is perhaps spent better in another hobby.
On the other hand, if you are like me, and I’m by no means condoning this practice, but if you are and can largely take a pass at the lot – there are still plenty of good ways to kill an afternoon at the festival.
Food, beer and wine tastings for three. On Friday at Easton Elementary School between 11:30 and 2:30 is something called “Birds of Prey Demonstrations by Skyhunters in Flight,” which just sounds awesome – whatever it ends up being. Likely they’re raptors, and who doesn’t like a good raptor? Saturday holds the retriever demonstrations and the preliminary heats of both the duck and goose calling competitions. Sunday has a kids’ fishing derby and a fly-fishing demonstration. Some of these events are multi-day affairs these are just the high notes of each day that’s not directly wildfowl related. The raptors are maybe an exception, but raptors largely get a pass everywhere.
The hours are from 10-6 Friday and Saturday and from 10-4 on Sunday. A $10 admission charge covers all three days so come and go as you please. If you’re coming from Ocean City or Annapolis and were considering making a weekend out of a day trip you might find hotel or motel rooms a little hard to come by. Enthusiasts travel from all over the U.S. to this festival so you might not get your preferred room on your first try.
And try you probably should, because Easton MD is a great little town just over the bridge or adjacent to the bridge depending on where you’re likely coming from. There is a 10 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday and that’s potentially the “rainy” day. It’s going to be a good weekend and good fall weekends are made for Easton.