Fall in Chincoteague brings new sounds to the island, as the noise of tourist traffic fades away after Labor Day, and year-end waterfowl hunters arrive. In the early morning and twilight, the popping of shotguns carries across the marshes. Visitors to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague may hear the challenging calls of male sika deer, or even witness their antler-to-antler combat as they battle for mating rights.
A Chincoteague fall means the honking of thousands of snow geese arriving at the Wildlife Refuge, which was created in 1943 to provide them with a rest stop on their migrations along the Atlantic Flyway. The snow geese are just one of more than three hundred species of birds which span some or part of their time at the Wildlife Refuge.
The Chincoteague Decoy Carver’s Association Decoy show, on the first weekend of September, brings some of the best Eastern Shore decoy carvers and wildlife artists to the Chincoteague Center. They exhibit remarkably lifelike representations of the island’s waterfowl and wildlife, and the majority of the proceeds from sales of their artwork is donated to support several deserving Chincoteague institutions including theL ibrary and local Scouts.
A Chincoteague fall brings the sound of square dance callers and knee-slapping music to the Chincoteague Center for the annual Chincoteague Island Square Up. Hosted by Crown Records, it’s a weekend of freewheeling fun!
For four hours of the six hours of the annual October Oyster Festival, the Chincoteague fall brings the sounds of thousands of happy seafood lovers celebrating the return of oyster season in the bet possible way: feasting on all-you-can-eat clams, crabs, and of course, those famous Chincoteague Salts prepared in every conceivable way! The event is held at the Maddox Family Campground.
You’ll get some great clam chowder at the Oyster Festival, but you might find it’s even better if you stick around or return to Chincoteague for the Main Street Association’s annual Chili and Chowder Cook-off. In addition to top-notch chili and chowder, there’s plenty of live music, boat rides, and arts and crafts exhibits. Nothing tastes better than a steamy bowl of chili or chowder on the waterfront on Chincoteague Island.
The Chincoteague Center hosts the Holiday Craft Shopping Extravaganza in early November. The Holiday spirit begins with gusto at this annual favorite Chincoteague event.
The haunting sounds of music from Native American flutes fill the air at the in the harvest season as well. The Native American Festival held at the Robert Reed Waterfront Park in November is an event not to be missed. The Grand Entry Procession is breathtaking, and the tests will offers a fascinating look at Native American “technology,” including corn grinding and flint knapping.
On the heels of the Native American Festival, beginning the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving, it’s time for the activities of National Waterfowl Week on Assateague Island. Assateague’s Wildlife Loop, normally reserved for hikers and bikers, and is open to vehicular traffic until the end of Waterfowl Week on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.
You’ll know it’s time for Waterfowl Week because the air above Chincoteague will be filled with the sounds of those honking snow geese as the Chincoteague fall prepares to surrender to winter!
Added to these natural wonders on Chincoteague Island is the Thanksgiving Decoy and Arts and Crafts show at the Chincoteague High School and you have quite a month of activities for any style or taste.