“It was a great weekend, attendance was good,” said organizer Pat Bruce. “Saturday had the largest attendance we’ve had in several years and Sunday was good as well.”
The three-day event, listed as one of the Top 20 Events in the South for March by the Southeast Tourism Society, began last Friday night with a preview gala. Paul Sciacchitano of Weems won the preview night door prize, a painting by Grover Cantwell of Salisbury, Md. Linda Hester of Hardyville won the weekend door prize, a bufflehead decoy by John Day of Cecilton, Md.
Seventy-nine exhibitors and craftsmen, selling everything from decoys and sculptures to paintings and wildlife photographs, displayed their items in the firehouse and an adjoining tent. Children’s activities were held in a small tent off the display area and 24 children painted silhouette decoys on Saturday, said Bruce.
“Two of them went next door and entered them in the youth division of the [decoy] contest. We thought that was great and they both got blue ribbons,” she said.
All the activities, including demonstrations, in the children’s area were sponsored by the Virginia Waterfowler’s Association and the 4H Holiday Lake Education Center of Appomattox.
A carving competition, sponsored by the Rappahannock Carvers and Collectors Guild, had a record 304 entries, with many mailed in from all over the U.S., according to Bruce. The Grand Champion was a widgeon decoy by Rob James of Emmett, Idaho. Other winners included James Richmond of Lanexa for buoy decoys, Ronnie Young of Maryland for working decoys, Jim Brace of California for style, Scott Green of Delaware for canvas, Robe James of Idaho for foam, Gary Joe Bryan of Ohio for gunning shorebirds, Dwinton Morgan for bench class, Ray Whetzel of Maryland for contemporary antiques and Amy Green of Delaware for youth.
According to Bruce, plans are already under way for the 35th annual show, March 15 and 16, 2014.