TUCKERTON, NJ - The 38th Annual Old Time Barnegat Bay Decoy and Gunning Show, hosted by the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders will be going virtual on September 27.

In a Press Release from the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Freeholder Virginia Haines, who serves as Chairwomen of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation stated “Because of safety concerns resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, we will not be holding the show this year but will bring some annual highlights to the public virtually.“This allows us to continue to promote and recognize the traditions of the baymen,” Haines said. “We will bring to the public through social media a great learning experience for those who are unaware of the rich traditions of the men and women who once earned their livelihoods from our local waters and surrounding lands.”

As part of the online alternative to the 2020 show, the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation will post the judging of award presentations for six of the key contests traditionally held as part of the show.

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Awards will be presented for:

  • Barnegat Bay Gunning Decoy Contest – Traditional Division
  • Barnegat Bay Gunning Decoy Contest – Contemporary Division
  • Delaware River Gunning Decoy Contest
  • Traditional Shorebird Decoy Contest
  • Youth Gunning Decoy Contest
  • Youth Shorebird Decoy Contest

“The award presentation marks the culmination of every show and highlights the best of the best of the Barnegat Bay traditions,” Haines said. “Even though we will not be gathered at the park to present the awards, we will recognize these winners virtually as we honor the heritage and tradition that comes from Barnegat Bay.”

The contest rules can be found on the Parks Department’s website: www.oceancountyparks.org.  All entries must be registered by 10 a.m., Sept. 19 when judging will take place lakeside at Tip Seaman County Park. The contest venue will be open to judges and contestants registering carvings only. The virtual show will feature archival videos and photos, along with new highlights including interviews. Other awards normally presented at the show will be folded into the 2021 show including the Hurley Conklin Award – the highlight of the award presentation - which is awarded to individuals who have lived their lives in the traditions preserved by the show.

For more details visit www.OceanCountyParks.org or call 609-971-3085.