World Championship

50th Ward World Championship
Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival
Roland E. Powell Convention Center
Ocean City, MD

April 21, 22 & 23, 2023

Thursday, Competitor Registration 11 a.m.-8 p.m.  
Open to the Public Friday – Sunday

Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Living Legends Award Presentation and Dinner  5:30 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
World Class Art and Carving Benefit Auction (AB Hall) 2 p.m.
Award ceremony (AB Hall) 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Admission: Multi-Day Pass: $10
Seniors & Students – $8
Children under 12 free (with adult)

Living Legends Dinner Tickets:  $65 for members, $75 for non-members

The World Championship is an international event where carvers, collectors, and visitors convene at the end of each April in Ocean City, MD.  From highly decorative works of art to functional hunting decoys, about 1200 different wildfowl carvings representing more than 150 species from around the world can be viewed at the premiere, the most prestigious competition in the world.  Competitors of all levels–from youth to world champions–compete against their peers for the chance to win a portion of nearly $60,000 in prize money, as well as other recognition including ribbons, medallions, plaques, and trophies. There are over 40 different divisions in which an artist can compete–decorative life-size and miniature wildfowl, floating waterfowl, interpretive, gunning decoys, contemporary antiques, sculpture, and feathers & fronds. Do not forget we added an open wood carving category and Fish carving returns for 2023!

  • See the World’s best wildfowl art!
  • Attend seminars and classes by master carvers for artists of all skill levels.
  • Shop from a wide variety of vendors for fine artwork, home decorator, art supplies and more.
  • Bring the children to Kid’s Corner to create fun make-and-take projects.
  • Stroll the boardwalk of the convention center while watching artfully carved decoys floating on the bay.
  • View live birds of prey demonstrations by the Salisbury Zoo. 
  • New this year – “Old Bird” Antique Decoy Competition – Bring your favorite collectible that was carved prior to 1950 and compete for an “Old Bird” People’s Choice! 

With your multi-day event pass, there’s plenty to do at the Ward World Championship, all within a convenient walk or OC bus ride from your beach hotel.

Be a part of the event!


Become a Competitor

2023 Ward World Championship Guide

Become a Volunteer *form now available*

 Youth Silhouette Wildfowl

Youth Silhouette Non-Wildfowl 

 Classes, Seminars, & Workshops 



Become an Exhibitor

Schedule of Events

Benefit Auction (info coming soon) 

A huge thank you to our sponsors for their continued support of the Ward World Championship and the Ward Foundation!

Become a sponsor

If you have questions about becoming a sponsor or would like to donate to the Benefit Auction, please email,

Individual Sponsors

Jeff Bounds and Marg Bounds 
   Master Medallions in memory of their parents, Charles and Eleanor Bounds

Habbart Dean Memorial Fund
A. Danner Frazer Memorial awards for the Youth Division

Lew and Nancy Pearce
Champagne Waterfowl Division in memory of Nancy’s father, Gordon Diefenbach

Gary and Pam Stenger
Registration fees for YD and YG Divisions in Youth Competition

Josh and Laura Guge
Bob Guge Memorial award for the Best Novice Songbird

Karl and Deb Yankey
General Ward World Championship Sponsors

Dr. Kent Kimmel and Dr. Ruth Carroll
Novice Division Sponsor

Jack Cox
Intermediate Division Sponsor

Supporting Organizations

Chincoteague Decoy Carvers and Artist Association
Delmarva Decoy Collectors Association
Guyette and Deeter
MDI Wood Carvers Supply
Midshore Chapter of Delta Waterfowl
Ocean City Accommodations
Art League of Ocean City
Sharp Gas and Energy


Maryland Heritage Area Authority
Maryland State Arts Council
Maryland Folklife Network
National Endowment for the Arts
Worcester County Arts Council
Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council