Post has been updated.
Warm your bones at the “end of the road” Dec. 1 during the Core Sound Chow Down chowder and stew competition, a part of the annual Waterfowl Weekend in Down East Carteret County.
In its second year, Chow Down is a newer event for the Waterfowl Weekend, which has been held in early December since 1999 at Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center. The museum is located at the end of Island Road on Harkers Island, one of Down East’s 13 unincorporated communities.
During the celebration of the area’s heritage set for Dec. 1-3, both inside the museum and on its grounds will be crafters, photographers, decoy carvers, and artists, seafood plates for sale, an online auction, decoy competition, live music, and activities for children. A community church service will begin at 8 a.m. Dec. 3, followed by breakfast.
Chow Down sold out last year. So this year, organizers said there will be double the cooks, double the chow, double the Christmas lights, and double the tickets for sale compared to last year, and a musical performance for Ocracoke-based Molasses Creek that night. The group will also perform at 2 p.m. Dec. 2 at the museum.
Down East residents are cooking up more than a dozen different stews and chowders including stewed ducks, shrimp, oysters, Scallops, clam chowder, fish stews, seafood chowders, gumbo and chili. Judging will take place at 5 p.m. by seafood advocates. Winners will be announced at 8 p.m. Dec. 1.
Area bakers have a chance to win the prize for the “Best Sweet Potato Pie Down” by participating in the first “Tater Pie Tasting,” a new element of the Chow Down event. Winners will be announced at 8 p.m. as well.
Tickets, $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers, come with a choice of four bowls of chowder or stew, homemade cornbread, dessert and a drink. A cash bar for beer and wine will be available near the Jean Dale. Tickets are available at the museum and its store at 806 Arendell St., Morehead City, as well as online. Only 400 tickets will be sold. Nonmembers can join the museum and save at the website.
While heading to the museum, visitors will be treated to Christmas light displays from Rush Point to Shell Point and at the museum as part of the island’s decorating contest. Winners will be announced Dec. 1.
On display in the museum is the Gallery of Trees that tell stories of places like Davis Ridge and Portsmouth, honor commercial fishermen, musicians, Veterans and Active Military and by students at schools Harkers Island and Smyrna schools, Down East Middle and The Bridge Down East.
The Core Sound annual online decoy and waterfowl art auction is open now online at houseacutioncompany.com. All items will be on display starting Dec. 1 at the museum. Bidding closes at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and pickup begins at 11 a.m. Dec. 3.
The Carolina Decoy Collectors Association will be on hand for an expanded exhibition of “Decoys from Ocracoke” opening Dec. 1. The Association’s 2023 Vintage Decoy Competition will welcome entries 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 2, with judging to begin around I p.m. Categories for the competition include: Core Sound Diver Decoy, Knotts Island Decoy, Ocracoke Duck Decoy, Joe Hayman Decoy, NC Beach Robin Decoy, NC Canvas Decoy and NC Ruddy Duck Decoy. The exhibition and winners will be on display through Dec. 3.
Every year quilters design and make a quilt with a theme, which is “Working Sails, Fishing Nets.” Tickets for this raffle are $5 each or six for $25 and available on the website. Tickets aloo are on sale now for a $5,000 Christmas cash giveaway. The winner will be drawn Dec. 3. tickets are $20 each or six for $100.
Tickets for both raffles can be purchased on the Core Sound website.