Wildlife arts fans can start shopping Friday night

The 20th annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and N.C. Decoy Carving Championships will add a twist this year. For the first time, the show in downtown Washington will open to the public Friday evening.

With the traditional sponsor event moved to Thursday night for the unveiling of all of the N.C. duck stamp program’s winning artwork since 1983 and the previous shows’ winning decoys, “that left Friday open, and our vendors will already be set up, so we decided to open to the public,” said Lynn Wingate, who became show chairwoman last year.

More than 40 artists from around the nation will display their works 5-8 p.m. Friday, as well as 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. The East Carolina Wildfowl Guild members will demonstrate carving Friday night.

Weekend activities include carving and calling competitions, children’s workshops, retriever demonstrations, boatbuilding, music, exhibits, vendors and a Saturday night auction.

Admission is $5 Friday, $7 Saturday and Sunday. A three-day pass is $12. Learn more at 800-999-3857 or www.ecwaf.com.

Boat show: NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Aric Almirola is scheduled to be among the visitors at the Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show this weekend. He will sign autographs at the Overby Marine booth 6-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday.

More than 20 boat dealers are displaying freshwater and saltwater boats of all sizes Feb. 5-8. Exhibitors also will offer financing, insurance, storage, watersports, maintenance, repair, navigation, towing and safety information and products. Hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $9 for adults and $4 ages 3-12. For information, call 919-996-8500 or go to www.raleighconvention.com/boatshow.

Wildlife award: Nominations are due Feb. 10 for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award recognizing leadership in the conservation of wildlife diversity. Find details at www.ncwildlife.org.

Waterfowl banquet: The fourth annual Triangle Delta Waterfowl Banquet will be held Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kerr Scott Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Tickets to the seafood feast cost $95 solo or $150 couple. Contact Lee Monsees at 919-971-1316, or visit www.triangledelta.com.

CCA banquet: Coastal Conservation Association North Carolina’s East Carolina Chapter will hold its annual banquet Feb. 26 at Rock Springs Center, N.C. 43 North, Greenville. Tickets cost $65 solo or $90 couple. Contact Billy Byrd at 252-756-9900, Chris West at 252-752-4220 or CCA NC at 919-781-3474, or go to www.ccanc.org.

Turkey banquets: National Wild Turkey Federation chapters statewide are holding banquets this weekend:

Find more banquets and ticket information at www.ncnwtf.com.

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