Hundreds of community members celebrated Delmarva heritage in Pocomoke over the weekend
POCOMOKE CITY, Md. – The last weekend in March was filled with a whole lot of Delmarva Culture.
Delmarva Discovery Museum brought back its Heritage Festival, which has been showcasing the history of decoy carving and hunting traditions. Museum officials say after facing the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing this event back was crucial.
“Just learn everything that there is to learn and how to preserve and keep it going and appreciate what a lot of us are not being taught otherwise,” says museum board member Susan Buckle Pusey. She adds, “That’s why we all put our time in volunteering into this because small towns are having such a struggle.”
Throughout the weekend carvers filled the museum space with intricate and unique decoys and trinkets, and local carver John Leonard tells us, it’s a passion he hopes to share with the younger generation.
“Ever since I was little I just loved waterfowl and it’s been my life, I just enjoy it.” Leonard says, “that’s one of the things about decoy carvings these days, the younger set is not getting into it as much as they used to.” He adds, “But the heritage day we’re hoping to get the interest out in the Delmarva is so great because we have so much heritage with decoys and waterfowl carving.”
Herb Watson, a member of the Heritage Festival committee tells 47 ABC about the many carvers and artists who have passed away. He says his late twin brother, Rick Watson is just one of the many craftsmen who ‘sculpted’ the way for the future of carving and love for waterfowl.
“By doing so we hope this tradition will survive and continue,” says Watson. He adds, “It seems like it’s growing every year and that excites us so hopefully will continue.”
Pusey with the museum also tells us decoy carving is one of the original American art forms, which she believes is worth preserving. The festival brought over 600 people to the museum.
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