Things to Do

Weekend Wonder: Fresh Oysters and Goose-Calling Contests

A charming small town throws a big festival.

If a weekend fueled by Bloody Marys, oysters on the half shell, and crab soup—plus world-class art and dog-friendly events—sounds like heaven, you might want to head to this weekend’s Waterfowl Festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Some 20,000 people from around the world will converge in Easton for the event, November 14 through 16. Begun in 1971, the wildlife expo and art festival is one of the country’s oldest. Highlights include exhibits by international painters, sculptors, and carvers, along with dog-retrieval demonstrations, goose-calling contests, and children’s fishing derbies.

Downtown Easton is closed to traffic for the festival so visitors can stroll the streets, sampling food and wine that showcase the best of the region—fresh oysters, artisanal chocolates, craft beer.

The event is so big and so beloved that the entire Talbot County school system shuts down on Friday, allowing for school buses to be used to shuttle visitors from historic downtown Easton to nearby event venues, such as the scenic ponds and fields outside of town.

Admission to the festival is $15; proceeds go toward conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. More information is available online.