‘Duck Dynasty’ star to be at Deer & Wildlife Festival
If Wilkinson County has three primary values, they’re faith, family and hunting.
Oct. 12, Wilkinson County residents will gather around the courthouse square in Woodville to celebrate those values with the Woodville Deer and Wildlife Festival.
In addition to other festival events, A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” star John Godwin will be present for a meet-and-greet session that will involve meeting him and getting an autograph and a picture with him, festival coordinator Dearing Moore Stevens said.
Godwin is a recurring cast member on “Duck Dynasty,” the popular show that chronicles the lives of the Robertson family of West Monroe, La., and their successful hunting supply business, the most famous product of which is the Duck Commander duck call.
Godwin has worked for Duck Commander, where he has built duck calls, managed supplies and overseen the shipping department since 2002. During the duck-hunting season, Godwin is the Duck Commander decoy technician, determining where decoys should be placed and checking hunting equipment after hunts to ensure it is ready for the next hunting session.
Godwin will appear from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the festival.
“We are trying to make the festival bigger and better, so we wanted to get some bigger attractions and some bigger names down here in Woodville,” Stevens said.
“We wanted to get somebody from ‘Duck Dynasty’ because it is about God, family and hunting, all together in one show — it’s basic family values that our community is based on.
“We are all going to church on Sunday and all going hunting Saturday, so I thought it would be great if he could come to our community.”
The festival is entering it sixth year, and will include such events as a wild game cook off, a juried art show, artist demonstrations, live music, arts and craft vendors and a wildlife photography contest.
The wild game cook-off will showcase dishes including alligator, duck, venison and wild hog. Art demonstrations will include carving of wooden bowls and spoons, pine-needle basket making, quilting and taxidermy.
At least 15 hunting-related trade booths will be at the show.
“When we started this, we were trying to create a promotional event here in Woodville that would be a signature event, and the obvious component was that people come here from many, many counties and parishes — from a 150-mile radius — to hunt,” Woodville-Wilkinson County Main Street Association Director Polly Rosenblatt said.
“This is a promotion and a celebration of the cultural heritage and arts of our community — for example, you hear about this new movement of slow food, but people in Wilkinson County have never abandoned that. They have eaten from the land for generations.”
The festival will also have a children’s village, in which Lawton’s Fish Farm will have a display.
“Lawton’s has a little catch and release pond that they set up,” Stevens said. “He brings fishing poles for the kids, and when they teach them how to catch the fish and they catch them they let them go back in the pond.”
In addition to the Lawton’s farm pond, the children’s village will offer face painting, inflatable jumpers, art activities and a mechanical bull ride. Entrance into the children’s village requires a $10 wristband.
Like other festivals, live music will also be featured prominently, and the day’s lineup includes the Veal Brothers Gospel and Donnell Sullivan. Allison Collins Band is also tentatively scheduled to play the festival.
Herpetologist Terry Vandeventer, with the Natural Science Museum in Jackson, will have a snake presentation at the festival.
The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission will be $5.
To register for the cook-off, art show or vendor booth, visit www.deerandwildlifefestival.com, https://www.facebook.com/#!/WoodvilleFest or call (601) 888-3998.