SALISBURY — For the 43rd consecutive year, talented artists from the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia will convene this weekend in Ocean City to showcase their carving skills at the Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival, considered the most prestigious carving competition in the world. The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University, hosts the annual event competition at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, from Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28. Show hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 26, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 27 with the awards ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. On Sunday, April 28, show hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Three-day passes to the event are available for $18.
On display are more than 1,400 wildfowl carvings, created by the world’s best carvers, artists, naturalists and authors. These spectacular carvings, which are coveted by celebrities and avid collectors alike, mimic wildfowl species such as Baikal teal, ostriches, bald eagles, snowy owls, a variety of hummingbirds and thousands of wildfowl species from around the world.
Competitors of all levels of experience, from youth to world champions, compete against their peers for top honors including cash awards and the opportunity to have their winning carving on display in the Ward Museum for one year. Back by popular demand is Skyhunters in Flight, a live raptor demonstration of the ancient art of falconry with master falconer Brian Bradley. Bradley conducts demonstrations on Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Audience members have the opportunity to watch a hawk and falcon demonstrate their hunting skill and to experience the silent flight of an owl.
Other highlights include seminars and workshops taught by the world’s top carvers, free carving demonstrations, children’s carving workshops and a special Kid’s Corner, field trips through which participants may see local shorebirds and watch bird bandings, and vendors selling a wide range of unique items.
For more information, call 410-742-4988, ext. 120, or visit www.wardmuseum.org.