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Deena Kilmon Appointed Executive Director of Waterfowl, Inc.

Deena Kilmon Appointed Executive Director of Waterfowl, Inc.

Deena Kilmon of Easton has recently been named Executive Director of Waterfowl Festival, Inc. For more than 50 years, the Waterfowl Festival, Inc. has staged an annual event, the Waterfowl Festival, that has raised $5.7 million for wildlife and habitat conservation, education, and research. The organization is committed to creating an environment to restore and conserve the presence of vibrant, stable, and diverse populations, flourishing in clean and productive aquatic and wetland habitats. The expanded position will enable the Waterfowl Festival to have a greater impact in the next 50 years of its conservation and education activities.

Kilmon is an accomplished and enthusiastic marketing and communications leader with broad experience in all levels of marketing, advertising, and brand management having served in several positions on the Eastern Shore. Most recently, she served as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Easton Economic Development Corporation. Before this job, Kilmon served as Director of Engagement for The Arc Central Chesapeake Region. For several years, she was owner and operator of Foxy’s Harbor Grille in  St. Michaels.

She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently working on an MBA with a Marketing Concentration at Longwood University.  She is a graduate of Leadership Maryland and Shore Leadership. She has received several community awards, including APG Women to Watch in 2022 and 2023.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, we are thrilled to have Deena Kilmon as our new Executive Director.  The excitement comes from what we think she will bring to the Waterfowl Festival, everything from new ideas, collaboration with existing and new festival partners, and a chance to build and expand our current festival to allow it to continue for years to come.   I am not sure there is a limit to what we can accomplish together and look forward to working with her,” Eric Milhollan, President of the Waterfowl Festival, Inc. Board of Directors.

Kilmon’s current volunteer activity includes serving on the Easton Rotary Marketing Committee, Shore Leadership Board of Directors, Chesapeake Neighbors (The Arc subsidiary), Phillips Wharf Board of Directors, Optimist Club, and 100 Women Talbot.

“The Waterfowl Festival has been an iconic part of the Eastern Shore experience for over 50 years. To be chosen to be a part of its next 50 years is an incredible responsibility, one that I do not take lightly. I am honored to be a part of the legacy of the work that we do during the festival and throughout the year, helping to preserve our natural resources for generations to come.”





Waterfowl Festival Welcomes New Board President Eric Milhollan

Eric Milhollan
2024 Board President Eric Milhollan

Waterfowl Festival Welcomes New Board President Eric Milhollan


Easton, MD – Waterfowl Festival, Inc. is pleased to recognize Eric Milhollan as the new President of its Board of Directors. Eric brings invaluable experience as a strong community and business leader. He currently is a senior project manager and part-owner at Willow Construction LLC, and has served as a volunteer for the Festival for many years along with his wife Victoria and their children.

Eric has over twenty-eight years of experience with Willow and has witnessed the growth of Easton from a sleepy town to a thriving and growing regional destination for businesses and families alike. He graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Other boards he has served on  include the local Associated Builders and Contractors, Talbot County Chamber of Commerce,  and Shore Leadership, and he is a 2019 Leadership Maryland graduate.  Utilizing skills from his professional and business experience, Milhollan is poised to take the Waterfowl Festival into 2024 successfully.

“Eric’s wealth of experience and his deep-rooted connection to the Waterfowl Festival make him an ideal candidate for the role of President,” remarked Charles Wrighton, 2023 president. “We are confident that under his guidance, the festival will continue to thrive, allowing us to continue to support conservation efforts in our region.”

Milhollan’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment for the Waterfowl Festival as it continues to evolve and adapt to support the community as well as its mission of conservation of our natural landscapes. With a consistent economic impact of millions of dollars each year, the Festival continues to be an event that has a considerable positive effect on the region after five decades.

The 53rd Waterfowl Festival is now accepting applications for vendors, artists, and sponsors! To connect with the Waterfowl Festival directly, please visit our website or email .


About the Waterfowl Festival: Located in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay region known for its stunning landscapes and abundant waterfowl populations, the Waterfowl Festival has grown to be a cherished tradition, attracting visitors from across the nation and around the globe. Its commitment to conservation, community, and cultural enrichment makes it a vital event for anyone interested in preserving our natural world for future generations. For more information, please visit WaterfowlFestval.org.

2023 Poster “Eastern Shore” by Joe Seme Available for Pre-sale on September 1

Step into a world of timeless artistry and captivating nostalgia as we proudly unveil the 2023 Featured Poster for the Waterfowl Festival. This year’s masterpiece comes to life through the brushstrokes of the esteemed painter and longstanding exhibitor, Joe Seme.

About the Artist

Hailing from New Jersey, Seme’s journey in art began in 1946. Although born in the Garden State, his heart found a home in North Carolina, where he has spent the majority of his life. His artistic journey led him down a self-taught path, culminating in his full-time commitment to painting in 1973. After two decades nestled in the North Carolina mountains, Joe now draws inspiration from the tranquil beauty of a salt marsh in Wilmington.

A Glimpse into Seme’s Artistry

Seme’s artwork transcends time, embodying the allure of bygone eras. His passion for objects with stories, like books, decoys, antiques, and collectibles, infuses his creations with a unique depth. As an avid collector, Joe curates treasures from old bookstores, cherished friends, dear family, and treasured memories. It’s within these treasures that his masterpieces take form. His still life “trompe l’oeil” paintings, capturing the essence of objects, carry the whispers of stories and memories that shape his vision.

“This is the most complicated painting I’ve done in many years. I could have simplified it a bit and saved myself a lot of work, but I just kept getting ideas. Can’t explain it. It’s just the way my artist’s brain works!”

-Joe Seme

Proceeds from Waterfowl Festival Supports Wellington WMA Wetland Restoration Project

Waterfowl Festival, Inc. is pleased to announce the contribution of $25,000 to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) to support the development of a project to restore 40-acres of wetlands at the Wellington Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located near Princes Anne in Somerset County, MD. This MWA is part of the larger 254-acre Kim Track acquired by the Maryland DNR that included 130-acres of agricultural fields which had been ditched in the past to reduce flooding. These sites will now be restored as moist soil wetlands to promote native plant communities that provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.READ MORE

Waterfowl Gives $4,500 Boost to Environmental Education for TCPS Students

The Waterfowl Festival is pleased to announce their $4,500 gift to the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation that is earmarked for environmental educational initiatives for students in Talbot County.

These funds, from last year’s Waterfowl Festival proceeds, are being used to support the sixth grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) at Pickering Creek with Curriculum Supervisor Bill Keswick. During these exciting field trips, students work with Pickering Creek to plan and implement a planting project to reclaim wetlands on their property. READ MORE

Sculptor Pati Stajcar Unveils Bronze Sculpture “Aesop’s Fable” as Featured Art Piece for 2023

A Captivating Sculpture Depicting the Fable of the “Crow and the Pitcher” to Be Showcased in November

Easton, Maryland – June 1, 2023 – Esteemed sculptor Pati Stajcar is set to mesmerize art enthusiasts and festival-goers alike with her latest masterpiece, “Aesop’s Fable” a playful depiction of the timeless tale of the Crow and the Pitcher. The bronze will take center stage at the highly anticipated Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland November 10-12, 2023. Stajcar’s stunning artwork serves as a visual representation of the Festival’s celebration of the region’s rich wildlife and heritage.


Now in its 52nd year, the Waterfowl Festival is a revered event which attracts thousands of visitors annually to the small town of Easton. The Festival showcases the beauty of wildlife through a juried art exhibit, brisk art sales and educational exhibits. The addition of “Aesop’s Fable” by frequent exhibitor Stajcar promises to elevate the artistic experience to new heights.READ MORE

Announcing the Waterfowl Festival Salute to Veterans

Honoring our military and veterans who have served our country


Easton, MD (September 28, 2022) – The Waterfowl Festival opens on Veterans Day, November 11, 2022, and is offering a 25% discount to active-duty military, reserve and National Guard, retirees, and veterans who are or have served in defense of our country. Pay just $15 for all three days of the Festival.


Show a military ID, a membership card from a veterans’ organization, an ID from the Veterans Administration, or a driver’s license with veteran status annotated, and receive a discount. This discount is only available for on-site ticket sales at one of the Festival’s ticket booths.


Waterfowl Festival, Inc., is a nonprofit, 501c (3), dedicated to wildlife conservation, the promotion of wildlife art, and the celebration of the life and culture of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Now in its 51st year, the festival continues to draw thousands of visitors from throughout the mid-Atlantic.


The Festival runs on volunteers, many of whom are veterans. We hope many more veterans will join us for one of the largest festivals on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where more than 350 artists, artisans, and vendors offer a fantastic weekend of fun focused on art, hunting, and sporting.


Watch the Delmarva Dock Dogs and wildlife callers compete for prizes; watch retriever and raptor demonstrations; view fine art, sculpture, and carvings; shop our marketplaces; and buy, sell, and swap antiques and collectables.


Kids can learn to carve and fish. There are many family-oriented activities.


There’s also food and craft beer and wine. Something for everyone on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland.


Just 40 minutes from Annapolis, 65 miles from Baltimore, 75 miles from Washington, DC, Waterfowl Festival is the perfect weekend getaway.

Waterfowl Festival’s Featured Artwork: ‘November Morning-Pintails’

When artist Richard Clifton began planning the featured piece of art for Waterfowl Festival 2022, he wanted to capture not only the beauty of waterfowl, but wanted his creation to appeal to art collectors, waterfowl enthusiasts, hunters, and conservationists alike. He settled on Pintails as his subject and created “November Morning-Pintails.”


“Everybody loves Pintails,” declared Clifton. “They have a classic look and broad appeal. People get excited when they see a group of Pintails.”


Clifton lives on 115 acres where he has created extensive habitat to attract waterfowl and wildlife.


He’s also a farmer, hunter, photographer, and waterfowl enthusiast. He comes from a farming family and keeps around 75 acres of his land under till. He says there’s something therapeutic about planting in the ground and working his fields. He’d do more farming if he wasn’t so busy with his art.


His love for the land and wildlife is evident in his paintings. He takes his own reference photos and then puts them together to create compositions that use light, patterns, and flow to bring viewers in. He says he’s probably sitting on several thousands of photos he’s taken on his land.


About the Painting


For Waterfowl Festival 2022, Clifton created a painting that is understated and elegant.


“November Morning-Pintails” evokes calm. Soft background light sets apart the ducks – three drakes and two hens. The contrasting patterns on the ducks give variety, while the colors serve to tie them together in a warm, serene composition.


The painting is 24”x36” unframed, and 32”x44” framed. The framed original is being offered for $12,000.


Posters will also be available closer to the date of the Festival.


“I’m so honored that the waterfowl festival has ask me to be their featured artist, and so grateful of the people that I’ve met in the last few years, both that work with the festival and -I’m gonna call them friends- the people that have come out and supported me and my artwork,” said Clifton. “It’s big shoes to fill, but I’m hoping together we can kick off the next 50 years with the same enthusiasm and anticipation that was there all those years ago when this great vision began.


About the Featured Artist Program


Waterfowl Festival’s Featured Artist Program was created in 2010 to generate excitement about a chosen artist and their visual interpretation of the bounty of our natural habitat. It encourages visitors to meet the artist and see the featured piece “up close.”


The Featured Artwork is the inspiration for the year’s marketing theme and keeps the visual identity of the Festival fresh and current. The painter or sculptor chosen each year showcases the variety and high-quality art that the Festival is known for to a new and returning audience.


For a hi rez version of the painting, click here.


For a photo of artist Richard Clifton, click here.

Richard Clifton Selected as Featured Artist for 2022 Waterfowl Festival

EASTON, MD (May 5, 2022) – The Waterfowl Festival is excited to announce that Richard Clifton will be the featured artist for the 2022 Waterfowl Festival. Clifton is a world-renowned wildlife artist and won the 2007 and 2020 Federal Duck Stamp contest.


“The Waterfowl Festival is truly fortunate and honored to have Richard Clifton selected as it’s 2022 Featured Artist,” said Kenneth Miller, president of the Waterfowl Festival board of directors. “Richard is one of our country’s premier artists for paintings that capture the beauty of waterfowl within their natural habitat. His compositions evoke a unique, if not varied set of emotions and feelings among experienced waterfowlers, naturalists and art collectors alike.”


Clifton is a self-taught, award-winning artist. Waterfowl are one of his favorite subjects and he has painted 53 duck stamps from various states and countries, including the 1996 Australian Duck Stamp.


Clifton’s art has been chosen several times for the Ducks Unlimited National Art Package and he was named Artist of the Year by DU three times.


“As a wildlife artist, it has always been a career dream of mine to be the featured artist for a show,” says Clifton. “So, I was both humbled and honored to be named 2022 featured artist for the Waterfowl Festival.”


Clifton first exhibited at the Festival in 2006. His work is sought by domestic & international fine art collectors.


“The long tradition of the festival promoting ducks and geese and my love of painting waterfowl are coming together, and it feels like a good fit,” says Clifton. “We should all be excited by the hope and promise this brings as we gather in November.”


More artists will be announced during the coming months. As always, the festival organizers are looking for the best-of-the-best in painting, sculpture, photography, and carving.


About the Waterfowl Festival


Waterfowl Festival Inc. is dedicated to wildlife conservation, the promotion of wildlife art, and the heritage of hunting and fishing on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It attracts some 18,000 visitors annually. It is the premier destination for everything waterfowl in the U.S.


The next Festival will be held November 11-13, 2022 in historic Easton, in the heart of Talbot County, MD. Tickets can be purchased online or at the event. VIP and corporate sponsorship packages are available. For more information, visit www.waterfowlfestival.org or call the Festival’s office at 410-822-4567.

Waterfowl’s 2021 Grant Awards Support Horn Point and Shore Rivers Projects

Every year, Waterfowl Festival’s Community in Conservation Grant Program receives funding requests from non-profits and community organizations across the region that are looking to make a difference.

This program supports projects that are at the intersection of waterfowl conservation and community, whether they are focused on education and outreach, science and research, or restoration. Ideally, projects include aspects of each focus area with the intention of building connections between our waterfowl, our region’s non-profits and the people of Delmarva. This cross sectional perspective means Waterfowl always receives a variety of projects that make for a very interested and thoughtful discussions by its review panel.

For 2021, these awards honor Judy Stansbury who, along with her husband Henry, are longtime supporters of the Festival and waterfowl conservation.

The 2021 Judy Stansbury Community in Conservation Grant recipients are:

University of MD, Center for Environmental Science – $5,000

Horn Point Laboratory’s (HPL) outdoor environmental education programs reach more than 3,000 students each year, teaching them about the Bay ecosystem through experiential learning on school or university field trips, HPL’s summer STEM programming and other community educational experiences. After more than eighteen months of isolation, distance and hybrid learning, HPL is ready to support getting children out into nature once again.

HPL’s project “Enhancing the Horn Point Nature Trail Experience” will create improvements to the Cove Point Train, part of a network of trails at the eight hundred acre UMCES/HPL campus. Improvements will include renovation of the trail’s wildlife/bird blind and the construction and installation of nesting platforms and boxes. Overall the project aims to better connect students to habitats, research and conservation and improve educational resources that focus on the wildlife and bird ecology of the Choptank River.

ShoreRivers $5,000

The Bay’s underwater grasses, known technically as Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV), are flowering, vascular plant species that grow in salt, brackish, and fresh waters. They provide immense ecological, acting as feeding grounds for waterfowl and commercially important fish and shellfish, sequester carbon, take up excess nutrients and trap sediment, and they protect shorelines from erosion by slowing tidal action.

ShoreRivers has been working with MD Dept. of Natural Resources and Anne Arundel Community College for the past several years to assist with SAV restoration plantings on the Eastern Shore. Waterfowl funding will compliment an existing grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, allowing ShoreRivers to further expand SAV restoration efforts. Overall, the project goal is to restore 24 acres of grasses throughout several Delmarva rivers. It will increase populations of native SAV species in an effort to reach Eastern Shore watershed restoration goals outlined set by the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The project includes volunteer-supported seed collection and distribution of species including widgeon grass, redhead grass, wild celery and horned pondweed – all key food sources to migratory waterfowl.


Help us build the foundation for future environmental conservation for waterfowl with a contribution to our Community in Conservation Grants Program. To make a gift, call us at 410.822.4567 or email us at .

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