Hatteras Village Civic Center served as the main hub of exhibits and vendors

The Hatteras Village Waterfowl Festival returned to Hatteras Island on Feb 23-24, and the fourth annual event was more popular than ever, per organizers and attendees.

“This year’s festival was the biggest one yet,” said event manager Karla Jarvis. “Our vendor slots were filled weeks ago, and we had our biggest crowds ever. When you create a new event, it often takes time to feel out if it’s going to hang around. After this weekend, I think this one is well on its way to becoming our latest established event in the village.”

Annabelle the Owl was one of the event’s favorite return guests.

Friday night’s Fin, Feather, and Bourbon dinner was a sold-out affair, while Saturday was filled with a rotation of activities at three locations: the Hatteras Village Civic Center, the Hatteras Island Ocean Center, and the Hatteras Community Building.

The Hatteras Village Civic Center was at the heart of the action, with vendors and exhibitors like the National Park Service, the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the Cape Hatteras Secondary School (CHSS) Art Show stationed in the main building.

A return attendee at the Civic Center who made a big impression with exhibit-hall visitors was Annabelle, an exceptionally friendly barn owl who could be held and petted with ease, and who has been a fixture at the event since the inaugural Waterfowl Festival was held in 2019. Another exhibit that was a highlight for many attendees was a historic collection of duck decoys, which garnered appreciation for their deep and local ties to Hatteras Island

At the outdoor tent adjacent to the Civic Center, highlights of the day included two demonstrations by Hawk Manor Falconry of Lillington, N.C., a duck call demo, and a special presentation on domestic duck-keeping.

The Civic Center was also the site of the annual duck call competition, with awards given to the top three Open Division and Junior Division callers, based on their ability to master a mallard mating call, feed call, and comeback call, as well as their overall calling skills. (The three judges were local volunteers from CHSS’ Hatteras Island Target Shooters.)

Third Place Winner in the Duck Call Juniors Competition, six-year-old Wyatt Jones

Winners included third-prize winner and the youngest member of the competition, six-year-old Wyatt Jones, as well as George Powell, who earned top-place finishes in both the open and junior competitions.

The complete list of winners in the duck call competition is as follows:

Junior Division:

  • First Place: George Powell
  • Second Place: Rylee Carpenter
  • Third Place: Wyatt Jones

Open Division:

  • First Place: George Powell
  • Second Place: Tom Cormany
  • Third Place: Brian Jones

At the Hatteras Community Building, artist and instructor Trish Dempsey led students through a guided painting of this year’s featured and feathered subject – the brant – while the Hatteras Island Ocean Center served as a launching point for craft projects and guided bird walks, which were an especially popular activity due to the chilly but perfectly sunny weather.

With hundreds of attendees migrating through the many activities and events throughout the day, the fourth annual Hatteras Village Waterfowl Festival drew a big crowd in an otherwise sleepy winter season. Despite February being a month where the visitor population is low, most of the folks at Saturday’s event were repeat and out-of-area attendees, with many attesting that they couldn’t wait to do it again next year.

For more information on Saturday’s festivities, including local vendors and presenters, visit http://hatterasonmymind.com/HVCA/WaterfowlFestival/.

Decoys at the Hatteras Village Waterfowl Festival
The winners of the 2024 Duck Calling Competition.
John and Aida Havel representing the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society (OBLHS.) Photo courtesy of OBLHS.
Silent auction items
Representatives from the N.C. Coastal Federation

The post Fourth annual Hatteras Village Waterfowl Festival is the biggest one yet appeared first on Island Free Press.

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