21st annual Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo Saturday, October 13

SALISBURY, MD—The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University, hosts the 21st annual Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo Saturday, October 13, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo pays tribute to old decoys while inspiring the carving of new ones. The museum, located next to Schumaker Pond, provides a beautiful environment for this annual celebration of waterfowling events, an essential part of the Delmarva Peninsula’s culture and history. Admission to the event and museum are free to the public!

Arriving before dawn, vendors will convert the museum parking lot and the John A. Luetkemeyer Sr. and Thomas F. Mullan Jr. Legacy Center into a festive Buy, Sell and Trade marketplace, which offers shoppers a diverse assortment of fine antique decoys, collectible hunting items, folk art, and outdoor memorabilia. Traditionally, vendors and collectors are excited to see what “new” treasures will be found in the marketplace. In addition, we encourage the public to bring their antique decoys for free identification and appraisals.

Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo is a day of friendly competition and family fun suitable for all ages. Decoy shows and competitions have been taking place for more than 100 years and have become a tradition within the American culture. Honoring these traditions, the museum holds its annual Chesapeake Challenge from 10:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in our backyard overlooking Schumaker Pond. Registration to participate in the Chesapeake Challenge is from 8:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. During the challenge, working waterfowl decoys are judged in the water so their qualities and effectiveness for hunting may be evaluated. In addition, there are separate competitions for shorebirds, woodpeckers, and contemporary antique decoys, as well as a separate youth competition for carvers ages 17 and under that takes place prior to the start of the Challenge. Be one of the many to experience this event as competitors from across the United States migrate to Salisbury to participate in the challenge.

Another popular event is the “Old Birds” Antique Decoy Competition. Collectors from across the region enter their antique decoys (carved prior to 1950) for evaluation. This contest differs from the Chesapeake Challenge Competition in that the decoy is no longer judged for its usefulness as a hunting tool but is instead judged for its collectability as a decoy with historical value. This year there are 10 categories of carvings which include specific species or carvings from a specific region or carver. This competition offers the public a unique opportunity to view various collectible styles from around the country. Be there for this fan favorite event taking place from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and please personally register Old Birds between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Come out for a variety of exciting activities and crafts available free of charge, including, soap carving and coloring activities. Other offerings comprise of bake sales, yard sales, and various carving demonstrations.

During Expo, the LaMay Gallery features 50 Finest Decoy Makers Before 1950. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ward Foundation, the Ward Museum is holding an exhibit of fifty great decoy carvers and their works prior to 1950. The content of the exhibit is drawn from community nominations for both makers and their birds. It will be the premier exhibit during the Ward Foundation 50th Anniversary event held during the Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo.

In addition, join us in the Andrews Emerging Artist Showcase gallery at 2 p.m. for the opening reception of Scenes from Life. Guests will enjoy this exhibit, which features the work of Madison and Meredith Brewington, two young artists from Salisbury. Recently graduated from high school and heavily involved with the Visual Performing Arts program in Wicomico county schools, the two artists represent a high level of skill and talent in their artworks. Madison and Meredith both work to represent the world around them through an interpretive lens, discovering the beauty in the smallest of details. Light refreshments will be served during the reception.

The 50th Anniversary Golden Goose Reception and Auction will be held October 12, 2018, in conjunction with the Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo. Guests will enjoy an Eastern Shore inspired menu of hor d’oeuvers and cocktails. The Auction will feature original artwork, antique decoys and waterfowling collectables, and gift packages. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased on the museum website at www.wardmuseum.org/store or by calling 410-742-4988.

Don’t miss out on yet another exciting Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo here at the Ward Museum. Consisting of new and captivating experiences the whole family can enjoy. We’ll see you there!

Admission to the museum and event are free. For more information visit the Ward Museum website, www.wardmuseum.org, or call 410-742-4988.