For three captivating days, November 10-12, 2023, the quaint streets of Easton transform into a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, art aficionados, and families alike, drawing between 18,000 and 20,000 visitors to the Waterfowl Festival. This cherished event, seamlessly blending local wildlife, nature, art, heritage, food, and entertainment, has become a hallmark of Eastern Shore culture for generations. Amidst the artistic splendor and culinary delights, the festival has something special in store for the younger crowd – a lineup of engaging and educational activities tailored just for kids.
For the budding artists aged 5 and older, the festival provides an opportunity to unleash their creativity. From decoy painting to soap carving, the Quack N’ Craft Corner at the Talbot County Free Library offers a hands-on experience for kids to craft their masterpieces. The craft corner, operating on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, features special stories paired with crafts, ensuring that each day is filled with imaginative exploration.
Storytime takes center stage at the festival with readings by local authors, enchanting young minds with tales of Chesapeake animals and themes. Authors like Sabine Simonson, Claudia Fridell, and Veronica Bartles bring their stories to life, creating an immersive experience for kids to connect with the rich wildlife of the region. With readings scheduled throughout the weekend, children can dive into captivating narratives and perhaps discover a newfound love for literature.
Dive into the enchanting world of the Chesapeake Mermaid, a traveling nature show that captivates audiences with tales of oysters and the delicate balance of the Bay’s ecosystem. After each show, kids have the chance to snap one-on-one pictures with the mystical mermaid, creating lasting memories of their time at the festival.
Willa the Waterfowl Fox and Webster the Waterfowl Goose are not just mascots; they’re companions for kids to meet and greet. Their friendly presence adds a touch of charm to the festival, making it an experience that kids won’t soon forget. Plus, with face painting by Nana Poppins and appearances by the Easton Point Pirate, the festival promises a palette of entertainment for the young and young at heart.
The Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s Fishmobile adds an educational dimension to the festival. On Saturday, November 11, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, kids can explore 13 tanks featuring live animals from the Chesapeake Bay. The Fishmobile offers a unique opportunity for children to learn about the region’s history and the impact of daily activities on its diverse marine life.
For those with a knack for craftsmanship, the festival offers kids’ decoy painting and soap carving classes in collaboration with the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. These hands-on workshops, taking place at the Academy Art Museum, allow children to express themselves artistically while learning about the habitats and characteristics of aquatic birds.
Calling All Young Duck and Goose Enthusiasts
The festival also hosts a Kids’ Calling Clinic on Saturday, November 11, featuring Duck Calling at 11:00 am and Goose Calling at 1:00 pm. Pre-registration is required, providing kids with the opportunity to learn the art of waterfowl calling from skilled instructors.
With these exciting activities tailored for kids, the 2023 Waterfowl Festival ensures that the next generation not only appreciates the beauty of Chesapeake Bay’s waterfowl but also actively participates in preserving and celebrating the natural wonders of this unique ecosystem. Don’t miss out on this quacktastic adventure for the whole family!
Some Festival Need-to-Knows:
*The Waterfowl Festival is now cashless. The $25 ticket covers all three days of the event. Credit/debit cards only are accepted at the ticket booth. Veterans pay $20 on Friday, Nov. 10 (Veterans Day).
*A VIP dinner takes place on Thursday evening, Nov. 9. The festival is open from Friday Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023.
For more information please visit waterfowlfestival.org/