Maryland must be the carving capital of the world. Over 20,000 bird-brained folks have turned out every year for the Ward World Wildfowl Carving Competition since its inception in 1971.
For three days every April some 2,000 carvers of wooden birds put their skills on the line hoping to win first place cash prizes that range from $3,500 to $20,000, depending what category and what level they are entered in. The three competition levels are Open, Intermediate and Novice. Some categories include Decorative Lifesize Wildfowl, Decorative Lifesize Waterfowl, Decorative Miniature Wildfowl and Interpretive Wood Sculpture. And species range from ducks to flamingos to turkeys to eagles to pelicans to hummingbirds. Carvers and spectators alike can take part in various seminars on the art of carving birds.
But be forewarned, at $150 each, they are a little pricey. The entry fee is only $8, which is well worth it for a glimpse into this strange world. Ward also hosts the World Fish Carving Competition the same weekend.
The above article is just one of a collection of off-beat articles on 2Camels from Nelson Taylor's wonderful America Bizarro.
America Bizarro is a unique travel guide that celebrates humorously interesting, pop-culture kitschy and off-the-map odd festivals, out-of-the-way gatherings, kooky conventions, conferences and contests throughout the United States.