Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Explore Nature at the Wakulla Wildlife Festival

Explore Nature at the Wakulla Wildlife Festival

From guided tours and art exhibits to music and food, this event offers something for all nature lovers.
Man and hawk at event
Hawk on display at last year's Wakulla Wildlife Festival
Celebrate spring at the Wakulla Wildlife Festival this Saturday, April 20 at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, south of Tallahassee.
Premium Guided Tours (additional fees apply) offer nature lovers an opportunity to hone their wildlife-watching skills and senses.
Participants will enjoy viewing the wildlife and heritage of the region through the eyes of gifted artists at the festival’s Art Show held on the terrace of the Wakulla Springs Lodge.
The silent auction is a favorite way to support the Wakulla Wildlife Festival. Bidding begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 5:45 p.m. Winners are welcome to claim their prizes at the end of bidding.
Local talent will entertain beginning at noon. Acts include the folk music of Ernest Toole; the fancy footwork of The Hot Pepper Steppers and their band Rockertoe; and traditional and contemporary Latin American music by the acoustic guitar ensemble of Carlos and Carlos. The Wakulla High School Jazz Band plays mid-afternoon.
The children of Wakulla County will take center stage in the lodge in the early afternoon as awards are presented to Aspiring Artists. A team of teachers and students from Riversink Elementary School will debut award-winning experiments to be performed in a weightless environment at the Johnson Space Center in July.
Throughout the day, children can enjoy games, crafts and face painting under the Children’s Activities tent. The children’s activities are part of the many exhibitors who introduce visitors to magnificent wildlife, area nature centers and museums and recreational opportunities.
Living history demonstrators will present Florida's proud heritage. A blacksmith will demonstrate iron works and a spinner will create thread from various fibers.
Excited festival guests return year after year to enjoy the phenomenal Bird of Prey and Reptile shows presented by the Center for Wildlife Education, Georgia Southern University. Guests are mesmerized as they discover the mysterious yet vital role snakes and lizards play in our world. Eagles, hawks and owls swoop overhead while their handlers present predator/prey relations and raptors as indicators of environmental health. The shows are interactive with considerable audience participation.
The evening’s signature event will be the Traditions Dinner-Dance. Festivities begin with a buffet dinner provided by the Wakulla Springs Lodge, with two seatings for dinner – one at 6 p.m. and another at 7 p.m. Music by the Tallahassee Swing Band begins at 8 p.m. Tickets for the Traditions Dinner-Dance are limited and are available by calling (850) 561-7286 or online at WakullaWildlifeFestival.org.
Visit www.WakullaWildlifeFestival.org for a complete listing of activities. A $6 per vehicle donation to the Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park, Inc. will be welcome at the entrance station.

Florida Folk Festival Tickets Available

Enjoy a weekend of music, food, workshops and folk art at the 61st Annual Florida Folk Festival
Performers on the mainstage
Performers on the stage at the Florida Folk Festival
Join us for the 61st Annual Florida Folk Festival during Memorial Day weekend on the banks of the historic Suwannee River at Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park in White Springs.
The event is ranked among the top 20 festivals in the southeast. Visitors are sure to hear plenty of wonderful music, enjoy tasty food, join a jam session, take a workshop, do a little shopping and pay tribute to Florida’s land, people and diverse cultural heritage. In addition to a full schedule of performances, visitors will find plenty to amuse and educate.
Folk artists and tradition-bearers presented each year in the Folklife Area reflect research and field documentation conducted by the Florida Department of State's Folklife Program. The Folklife Area celebrates the diverse cultures of the Lower St. Johns River Basin. Be sure to visit the Folklife Area to experience the compelling traditions and savor the flavors, sights and sounds of some of Florida's oldest and newest cultural communities.
At the Florida Folk Festival, one can sit with the masters who keep cultural traditions alive. In jam sessions, demonstrations and workshops, visitors can try their hand at playing a mandolin, telling stories or making a pine needle basket. They may also learn how to collect their family's history, call a square dance or the importance of native plant and animal species. They may take a shopping excursion and visit with Florida's traditional and contemporary craftsmen, then dine on collard greens and cornbread, chicken pilau and hoppin' john, shrimp gumbo, barbecue, curries, gyros and lime fizzes. As the sun sets, visitors can settle in for concerts by moonlight or dancing the night away at the Heritage Stage. At the end of the day, visitors will have discovered new corners of the state from the people who call Florida home.
Advance tickets for the Florida Folk Festival are $25.00 per day or $50.00 for the entire weekend for adults. Tickets bought at the festival gate are $30.00 per day or $60.00 for the entire weekend. Children under six years of age are admitted free of charge. Ticket prices for children between the ages of six and 16 for the entire weekend are $5.00.
Tickets provided by Elevate Ticketing and can be purchased through the Florida Folk Festival website, www.floridafolkfestival.com, or the Florida Folk Festival Facebook page, www.facebook.com/FloridaFolkFestival.
This year’s entertainers include a variety of talented performers: Bellamy Brothers, Jim Stafford, Ben Prestage, Moors & McCumber, Passerine, Jubal’s Kin, The Currys, Ed Cotton, Mindy Simmons & the Hot Pockets, Bing Futch, Rachel Carrick, Frank Thomas, Montine Humphries, Doug Gauss and many more.
This is a rain or shine event! Gates open daily at 8 a.m. so come early to be sure you don’t miss any of the fun! Camping is not offered during the festival, but do not worry. There are plenty of places to camp in the area, including Suwannee River State Park, O'Leno State Park, Ocean Pond and Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park to name a few. For a comprehensive list of local public and private campgrounds, cabins and motels in Suwannee County, nearby Columbia County (Lake City) and Hamilton County (White Springs and Jasper), visit SuwanneeValley.org.
For more information, please call 1-877-6FL-FOLK (1-877-635-3655) or visit www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster or www.FloridaFolkFestival.com.

Celebrate Earth Day in 2013

Monday, April 22 is officially Earth Day. Visitor's to Florida's state parks will celebrate throughout the month.
Earth Day at Honeymoon Island State Park
Earth Day at Honeymoon Island State Park
Florida's state parks will commemorate Earth Day with events focusing on environmental education and nature-based recreation for the whole family.
Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds and nationalities. More than a billion people participate in Earth Day events every year.
“Earth Day is a time for us all to reflect on our beautiful environment and to continue to work together on ways to protect it,” said Donald Forgione, DEP’s Florida Park Service Director. “Florida’s 171 state parks and trails protect and conserve our natural resources, while providing excellent opportunities for recreation and fun.”
The first official Earth Day was held in 1970. With the mission of uniting the world toward a common cause of environmental protection and conservation, the United Nations observed the first global Earth Day with the annual ringing of the Peace Bell on March 21, 1971.
The following state parks will host special events in honor of Earth Day 2013:
  • April 20, Earth Day Guided Hike and Recycle Camp Site Program at Lake Kissimmee State Park, Lake Wales
  • April 20, Earth Day Beach Clean-Up at Henderson Beach State Park, Destin
  • April 20, Celebrate Earth Day with Exotic Plant Removal at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Spring Hill
  • April 20, Island Earth Day Celebration at Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin
  • April 20, Earth Day Event with Special Exhibits at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Homosassa
  • April 20, Earth Day Event with Drum Circle at Koreshan State Historic Site, Estero
  • April 20, 18th Annual Earth Day Celebration at Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
  • April 20 - 21, Earth Day Celebration Weekend at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Palm Coast
  • April 21, Earth Day Celebration at Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
  • April 21, Earth Day: Celebrate All Things Green! at The Barnacle Historic State Park, Coconut Grove
  • Some Special Events the Last Weekend in April

    Upcoming Special Events

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