Wild geese on the Eastern Shore call to wildfowl lovers


November 08, 1992|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Staff Writer

Have you heard the wild geese call or seen the sky suddenly darken with geese flying in perfect formation? Surely one of the ++ great wonders of fall. A good place to experience the fall migration is Maryland's Eastern Shore, where an estimated 600,000 Canadian geese spend the winter months. It is often referred to as the "goose capital of the world," a title held by Hatteras, N.C., until the 1950s.

Another reason to visit is the annual Waterfowl Festival in Easton next weekend, an event that attracts scores of wildfowl lovers from around the world each year. As the Colonial capital of the Eastern Shore, Easton is steeped in history and charm, and next weekend it will be especially festive as the town becomes involved in festival activities. Streets will be closed to traffic, and free shuttle buses will operate between the outlying parking areas and festival sites.

Some of the world's best wildlife artists, woodcarvers and sculptors are among the more than 500 artisans who will come from all over the country and Canada to exhibit and sell their work. Original paintings, carvings and sculptures can be viewed in the Gold Room of the Tidewater Inn, where you'll see price tags in excess of $700. Less expensive paintings and prints are available at the Elks Lodge's Blue Room.

Several weekend events are scheduled at Easton High School, where you'll also find the popular Buy, Sell and Swap Shop for collectors of antique decoys and waterfowl-related memorabilia. The auction of antique and contemporary decoys should draw large crowds there at 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $2. At 7 that evening the school's auditorium will fill for the World Champion Goose Calling Contest and Mason-Dixon Duck Calling Contest. Admission is $3.

Workshops at the Easton Fire Hall offer visitors an opportunity to watch artisans at work, and seminars on "The Art of Collecting -- Sporting Art" will be given at the Academy of the Arts at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

There's more. Retriever demonstrations will be held at the ponds on Bay Street at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. Champion clay shooters will exhibit their marksmanship at the Talbot Rod and Gun Club at 10 a.m. Sunday, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will sponsor a waterfowl cruise from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $17 for members, $22 for non-members. Reservations are required. Call (410) 745-2916. Festival ticket holders will also be admitted free to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and to the Academy of the Arts in Easton.

Eastern Shore-style seafood and other shore specialties will be plentiful. Food can be bought at the firehouse, the high school and other festival sites; dinner is available at any one of Talbot County's 90 restaurants.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A $10 admission ticket is good all three days; free for children under 14. Since 1971 the festival has raised more than $2.5 million for wildlife conservation. Proceeds will again support selected organizations dedicated to preserving waterfowl populations.

For information, call (410) 822-4567.

Virginia Pow-Wow Festival

In conjunction with American Indian Month in November, the second annual Virginia Pow-Wow Festival will take place Thursday through next Sunday at the Richmond Fairground Exhibition Hall in Richmond.

More than 30 different North American tribes will be represented at the festival to compete for more than $7,500 in prize money. Featured attractions include Indian dancing, storytelling, face painting, and demonstrations of beadwork, pottery, basketry, woodcarving and other American Indian crafts. A large model of an American Indian village with a full-sized tepee will be on display, and visitors can sample a variety of American Indian food and drink. The Aztec Dancers of Mexico City will be performing throughout the festival, as will Buddy Bigmountain, a noted Mohawk magician-ventriloquist. American Indian arts and crafts will be for sale.

Admission is $7 for adults; $4 for children and senior citizens. For information, call (410) 788-0689.

International Gift Festival

A good place to get a head start on Christmas shopping is the International Gift Festival in Fairfield, Pa., Thursday to Saturday. Not only can you choose from more than 1,000 different kinds of handcrafted gifts, the prices are up to 25 percent below retail costs and there's the satisfaction of helping the disadvantaged people of the world.

For the past 30 years the Fairfield Mennonite Church has provided a marketplace for people in Third World countries. The festival has gained a wide reputation, attracting shoppers from several states. In its first year the event raised $500; last year's receipts totaled $86,000. All of the money goes directly to the Mennonite Central Committee's

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