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Community Foundation of Southern Maryland

Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Arts Show Partners:

Decoy Magazine

Potomac Decoy Collectors Association

Chad Tragakis Consulting, LLC

Heck Rice/Yellow Dog Decoys

St. Mary's County Fair Association 

Waterfowl Presenting Sponsor:

Community Foundation of Southern Maryland

Blue Heron Sponsors:

Community Bank of Tri-County

Outback Steakhouse

PNC Bank

Osprey Sponsors:

Old Line Bank



University of Maryland, Charles Regional Medical Center

Loon Sponsors:

Blue Wind Gourmet

Edible Arrangements, Lusby

My Cause Water

Pizza Hotline

Wildes-Spirit - Design, Print, Mail


Byrd and Bryd, LLC

Carruth & Sone, Inc.

County First Bank

Helen Dorsey

Edward L. Sanders
Insurance Agency, Inc.

Fit U Training, Stacy Buster

Law Offices of Kevin J. McDevitt, LLC

Port of Leonardtown

Quality Printers

In-Kind Sponsors:

Bozick Distributors

My Cause

Outback Steakhouse

Design and Printing

Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Art Show

Thank You for Supporting the 2015 Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Arts Show
A celebration of the traditional arts of the Bay.
See, taste, experience and purchase a wide
array of Chesapeake Bay culture.

May 15 & 16, 2015
St. Mary's County Fairgrounds, Leonardtown, MD

Photo by Wes StoneThis year, we are celebrating our 9th Annual waterfowl arts show with a new name and new dates. This event provides support for the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland, allowing us to build more funds and provide more grants in the community. In addition, the event promotes the arts and heritage of our region.

The event kicks off Friday, May 15 with a Cattails and Cocktails reception and auction in recognition of the show’s 2015 Featured Carver, renown Maryland decoy carver, President of the Southern Maryland Carousel and carousel animal maker, Burkey Boggs. On Saturday, May 16, visitors will be able to see, taste, experience and purchase a wide array of Chesapeake Bay culture.  

The Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Arts Show showcases the arts and culture of the Chesapeake Bay region and will be jammed pack with decoys, wildlife and related artists, Buy, Sell and Swap tables for the collectors, outside retriever demos, duck calling contests, decoy auction and competition, and plenty of other activities. Members of the Potomac Decoy Collectors Association, including Editor and Publisher of Decoy Magazine, Joe Engers, will be on hand to give free decoy appraisals and identifications.

To request a registration form or if you have questions about participating in this year's event, contact us at, or learn more about how to become a sponsor of the 2015 Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Arts Show.

Burkey Boggs and his carvings

Cattails and Cocktails Reception and Auction
Friday, May 15, 6pm - 9pm
$75 per person
Tickets Must Be Purchased in Advance

  • Help us recognize 2015 Featured Carver, renown Maryland decoy carver, President of the Southern Maryland Carousel and carousel animal maker, Burkey Boggs.
  • Enjoy delicious gourmet hors d’oeuvres and beverages while mingling with the artists and previewing the decoys and related items to be auctioned off the next morning.
  • Shop for wildlife art, and other hand-crafted items; dust of your decoys for a free decoy appraisal and identification; barter at the Buy, Sell & Swap tables; bid on unique auction items and more!

Getting There: Directions to the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds and Local Accommodations

Decoys by Tommy Deagle

Stash Your Trash Heron

Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Arts Show
Saturday, May 16
Admission is $5.00 per person (12 & Under Free)

  • 8 a.m. Live Auction of Decoys and related items – consignments or donations – no reserve or limits – Farrell Auction Service, LLC Auction Guidelines
  • 10 a.m. Gates open – All day Show, Sale, Appraisals, Tastings and More!
  • 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Retriever Demos - See and pet some of the most amazing canines on the east coast
  • 12:00 Noon Working Decoy Competition - Enter your own carving or simply admire the masterpieces entered in the 2015 Working Decoy Competition organized by Heck Rice, champion carver and President of the International Wildfowl Carvers Association. For more information download letter to carvers and registration form.
  • Meet 2015 Featured Artist, Burkey Boggs, Maryland decoy carver and President of the Southern Maryland Carousel, who was among a team that hand carved 50 carousel animals.
  • Mingle with artists from the Carolinas to New Jersey and Pennsylvania; view and purchase fine wildlife art including original oil and watercolor paintings, photography, hand carved gunning and decorative decoys, sculpture, wood carvings, hand crafted furniture, beach glass jewelry, ceramics and more.
  • Free decoy appraisals and identifications by members of the Potomac Decoy Collectors Association, including Editor and Publisher of Decoy Magazine, Joe Engers
  • Wildfowl and game tasting and cooking demonstrations offered by noted big game hunter Jimmy Stewart.
  • See birds made from trash – really! An unforgettable display of “recycled” sculptures on loan from Salisbury University’s Stash Your Trash exhibit.
  • Bluebird House Workshop - $5 All youth participants will be placed in a special drawing to win a prize offered by NWTF
  • Enjoy local wine tastings and tutorials.

Getting There: Directions to the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds and Local Accommodations

Information for Vendors and Exhibitors

For information on participating in the 9th Annual Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Show, please download Letter to Exhibitors and Application and return by April 24.

The event will also include a Buy, Sell & Swap Room, outdoor retriever demos, a decoy competition, both a live and a silent auction, and various other activities. Watch the event’s Facebook page for details: If you would like to donate or consign an item for either of the auctions, please call Gretchen for details: 240-670-4483.

Working Decoy Competitions - May 16

The Working Decoy Competitions will be run by Mr. Heck Rice from Yellow Dog Decoys, and will be judged under I.W.C.A. rules. The classes for the working decoys are marsh ducks, diving ducks, sea ducks, geese and confidence. Youth competition (for ages 16 and under) will be judged separately.

Registration for competition begins Saturday at 10 a.m., with judging at 12:00 Noon. The decoy entry fee is $10.00 for the first entry and $4.00 for each additional entry. Free admission on Saturday for all who plan to enter a decoy for the competition.

To register, download the letter to carvers and registration form.

2015 Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl Arts Show Featured Carver: Burkey Boggs

Burkey Boggs and his carvingsBurkey Boggs has enjoyed a life that is, in many respects, typical for someone living in the greater Washington, DC area. He grew up in southern Maryland, learned to love the outdoors and the incredible fishing, hunting, crabbing and camping that the region afforded him. He grew up surrounded by tobacco farms, graduated from La Plata High School, and embarked on a long and successful career working for the U.S. Government Printing Office.

In 1985, however, something happened that would change his life forever. It was on a trip to Denver, Colorado with his wife of 55 years, Margaret. "We were window shopping downtown," he remembers, "and I saw this flight of ducks in a shop window. It just stopped me in my tracks – it was so life-like, I thought they were the work of a taxidermist, which is a longtime interest of mine. We went in to check them out and I was so surprised to find out they were actually made of wood. Another surprise was the $18,000 price tag. I told Margaret right there and then, 'I can do that.'"

The timing was perfect. With retirement on the horizon, Burkey was determined to channel his energy and passion into something new – an artistic expression of his sportsman’s soul. Burkey was thrilled to find a beautiful set of carving tools under the Christmas tree later that year, a gift from Margaret that set him on his way to the dedicated woodcarving shop he maintains at home today. "I guess it keeps him out of trouble," she likes to say, playfully.

Burkey’s first pieces were made from "found" wood, including scrap cedar, old walnut, and even large sections of pressure treated posts, none of which is typical or easy to use for beginning carvers. He learned by doing and experimenting, but as he became more serious, he read books, subscribed to woodcarving magazines, and began attending the waterfowl shows in Easton and Ocean City. He also met experienced carvers and continued to listen, learn and experiment. "Finally," he remembers, "I began carving some pieces that really looked like a duck, a bird or whatever it was that I was working on at the time." He is most proud of the positive comments he has received from his fellow carvers, including his longtime friend and 2014 Potomac River Waterfowl Festival Featured Carver and Honorary Chairperson, Ray Whetzel. While duck decoys remain a favorite, it is another wooden animal, the carousel horse, which has become perhaps his magnum opus. After a devastating tornado ripped through La Plata in 2002, a group of local woodcarvers got together and came up with a novel way they could help with the rebuilding effort. They wanted to create an authentic working carousel, featuring hand-carved wooden animals based on the now long-since-vanished merry go round at Marshall Hall, a Charles County amusement park that operated from 1868 until 1980. Memories of Marshall Hall are particularly sweet for Burkey, for it was there that he and Margaret would often go when they were dating as teenagers back in the 1950s.

After 10 years of hard work by dozens of people, this labor of love continues. Burkey, who serves as president of the Southern Maryland Carousel Group, has been its visionary and greatest champion and his enthusiasm is contagious. He visits the group’s workshop several days a week, sometimes working up to eight hours or more on the animals. But his passion for seeing the project through isn’t limited to woodcarving; Burkey probably spends an equal amount of time talking with supporters, enlisting new donors, seeking grants and bonds, and tracking down new sources of funding.

When it is completed, the new carousel will feature 50 animals and two accessible chariots, all housed in a pavilion that will include a museum and visitor center, a gift shop and, of course, space for woodcarving. Burkey is convinced that the carousel will be another milestone in the southern Maryland community’s development and also for the region’s healing after the tornado. More than anything, he loves that fact that something he is helping to create with his own hands will be enjoyed by many generations of southern Maryland children. Busier today than he was before he retired, Burkey is in constant motion. In addition to his carving and work on the carousel, Burkey has served in a wide variety of roles in service to his community including as a Board member of the Community Foundation, on the La Plata Board of Appeals, as a member of the town’s Vision Implementation Team, and as a member of the Board of License Commissioners for Charles County. He wants to make sure southern Maryland remains a wonderful place to live, work and thrive. With five children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all living within 10 miles of La Plata, Burkey has a lot of incentive to keep giving back.

For more than 30 years, Burkey’s carving has brought wood to life. But he wants to ensure that the traditions of woodworking, decoy-making and carousel animal carving live on, so he now teaches and mentors younger carvers formally through the Southern Maryland Woodcarvers as well as informally, every week. "I'm trying to impart what little knowledge I have," he says modestly, "I'm just trying to keep it all going." He certainly is.

Photos from Past Waterfowl Arts Shows