World Championship

50th Ward World Championship
Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival
Roland E. Powell Convention Center
Ocean City, MD

April 21, 22 & 23, 2023

Hours:
Thursday, Registration 11 a.m.-8 p.m.  
Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Living Legends Award Presentation and Dinner  5:30 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
World Class Art and Carving Benefit Auction (AB Hall) 2 p.m.
Award ceremony (AB Hall) 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Admission: Multi-Day Pass: $10
Seniors & Students – $8
Children under 12 free (with adult)
Group rate for 6 or more: $6 per person

Living Legends Dinner Tickets:  $65 for members, $75 for non-members

The World Championship is an international event where carvers, collectors, and visitors convene at the end of each April in Ocean City, MD.  From highly decorative works of art to functional hunting decoys, about 1200 different wildfowl carvings representing more than 150 species from around the world can be viewed at the premiere, the most prestigious competition in the world.  Competitors of all levels–from youth to world champions–compete against their peers for the chance to win a portion of nearly $60,000 in prize money, as well as other recognition including ribbons, medallions, plaques, and trophies. There are over 40 different divisions in which an artist can compete–decorative life-size and miniature wildfowl, floating waterfowl, interpretive, gunning decoys, contemporary antiques, sculpture, and feathers & fronds. Do not forget we added an open wood carving category and Fish carving returns!

  • See the World’s best wildfowl art!
  • Attend seminars and classes by master carvers for artists of all skill levels.
  • Shop from a wide variety of vendors for fine artwork, home decorating items, folk art, photography, jewelry, sporting goods, or carving and art supplies.
  • Bid on one-of-a-kind carvings and artwork from renowned wildlife artists at the Saturday afternoon benefit auction.
  • Bring the children to Kid’s Corner to create fun make-and-take projects.
  • Stroll the boardwalk of the convention center while watching artfully carved decoys floating on the bay.
  • View live birds of prey 
  • “Old Bird” Antique Decoy Competition – Bring your favorite collectible that was carved prior to 1950 and compete for an “Old Bird” People’s Choice! More details coming in the 2023 Guide!
  • And more wonderful happening to be announced as this is the 50th Show and a homecoming back to Ocean City!!

With your multi-day event pass, there’s plenty to do at the Ward World Championship, all within a convenient walk or OC bus ride from your beach hotel.

More info coming soon!

Become a Competitor Youth Silhouette Wildfowl Youth Silhouette Non-Wildfowl  Benefit Auction  Schedule of Events

Classes, Seminars, & Workshops  Accommodations  Become an Exhibitor

Volunteer Application (coming January 2023)

The 2023 Ward World Championship Guide with rules and registration information will be mailed out to our mailing list
and available online for download in January, 2023.

 

If you would like to be a sponsor please email wardadmin@salisbury.edu or call 410-742-4988 ext. 108.

Individual Sponsors

Jeff Bounds and Marg Bounds 
   Master Medallions in memory of their parents, Charles and Eleanor Bounds

Habbart Dean Memorial Fund
A. Danner Frazer Memorial awards for the Youth Division

Lew and Nancy Pearce
Champagne Waterfowl Division in memory of Nancy’s father, Gordon Diefenbach

Gary and Pam Stenger
Registration fees for YD and YG Divisions in Youth Competition

Josh and Laura Guge
Bob Guge Memorial award for the Best Novice Songbird

Karl and Deb Yankey
General Ward World Championship Sponsors

Dr. Kent Kimmel and Dr. Ruth Carroll
Novice Division Sponsor

Jack Cox
Intermediate Divison Sponsor


Supporting Organizations

BJ’s on the Water Restaurant
Chincoteague Decoy Carvers and Artist Association
Delmarva Decoy Collectors Association
Guyette and Deeter
MDI Wood Carvers Supply
Midshore Chapter of Delta Waterfowl
Ocean City Accommodations
Ocean City Center for the Arts
Salisbury University Foundation
Sharp Gas and Energy

General

Maryland Heritage Area Authority
Maryland State Arts Council
Maryland Folklife Network
National Endowment for the Arts
Salisbury University
Worcester County Arts Council
Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council

Ward World Championship Sponsorship Opportunities

The Ward World Championship is the premier carving competition in the World and this is your opportunity to associate your name with this prestigious event.

With the goal of continuing this quality show while at the same time keeping the costs down for the carver, the Ward Foundation is seeking sponsors for the various divisions of the competition, special awards, and educational elements of the Education Conference.

As a sponsor, your name will reach over 50,000 individuals per year through mailings, Web site visits, show attendance, and media outreach.

Please call 410-742-4988, ext. 108 to discuss sponsorship opportunities.