The Core Sound Decoy Festival, sponsored by the Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, puts an emphasis on the traditional craft of decoy carving in hopes of passing the skill down to younger generations. Events are held at the group’s headquarters, which is located just before the bridge to Harkers Island, and at Harkers Island Elementary School.
The group presents its annual Decoy Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5-6, bringing together carvers from up and down the Eastern seaboard for two days of contests, auctions, demonstrations, food and fun. Carvers, vendors, artists and authors fill the hallways and gymnasium with their work. Attendees may compete in a carving contest, bid on items in the auction, watch the hunting dog competition, the children may paint a decoy of their own, or just folks can sit back and enjoy some homemade banana pudding.
Antique and contemporary decoys are the central bait that keeps visitors coming year after year, but the fun events keep them busy throughout the weekend. Expect loon calling competitions, retriever demonstrations, head whittling and decoy painting contests. The auction of new and vintage decoys on Saturday is always a favorite as well. This year Jack Cox of Currituck is the featured carver and the featured bird is a ringneck. For more information on the Decoy Guild or festival, visit www.decoyguild.com.
The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center in Harkers Island hosts its annual Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend the same weekend. The celebration of heritage allows the Harkers Island community to share the natural beauty and maritime heritage of the area.
Waterfowl Weekend is free for guests and takes place at the Waterfowl Museum, located next to the National Park Service at the end of Harkers Island Road. Visit community exhibits, browse the wares of regional artists, take in some live entertainment, tour the education tent and chat with decoy carvers and artisans from around the county and up and down the coast. The museum was completed in 2010 as a monument to the culture and heritage of Down East, and with anywhere from 5,000-10,000 people visiting for the Waterfowl weekend, the museum becomes the center of attraction.
Doors open at 10am on Saturday and Sunday for demonstrations of boat building, decoy carving, quilting, music, storytelling, artists and exhibitors, educational displays and programs and, of course, Core Sound seafood. Visitors may tour the museum galleries, take a walk on the nature trail and feast on stewed shrimp, scallop fritters, homemade, award-winning chili and Core Sound Sweet Puppies with ice cream.
Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend celebrates with a homecoming atmosphere for all who venture to the “end of the road” for a taste and feel of North Carolina’s maritime traditions. For more information on the Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend, call 252-728-1500 or visit www.coresound.com.