Everglades Day Festival At Refuge Feb. 14

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Friends of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee Everglades Tours and the Audubon Society of the Everglades will present the 16th annual Everglades Day Festival, rain or shine, on Saturday, Feb. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The festival will focus attention on the importance of America’s Everglades to South Florida’s people, animals and habitats. It also provides education, entertainment and direct experiences. This year’s theme is “Romance of the Everglades,” focusing on the visitor’s fascination with the Everglades and its ecosystem.

This year’s themed T-shirt features an amazing photograph by Claudine Laabs with white egrets actually forming a “heart” with their necks. The shirt is for sale for $13 in the refuge gift shop.

Special features this year will include Rey Becerra and his black stallion representing the Seminole Tribe, Ron Magill of Zoo Miami with a program called Alligator Love, python hunter Edward Mercer with live specimens, Roger Hammer, speaking on romantic wildflowers and romance mystery author Petie McCarty.

Back by popular demand will be the Palm Beach County Plein Air Painters, who will paint and hold a showing and awards ceremony of works done live then and there.

There will also be live music, animal encounters, food trucks and many activities for kids. Except for the food trucks, the day is free, with ample parking and shuttle buses to the refuge. Don’t forget sunscreen, re-fillable water bottles, and walking shoes.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is located at 10216 Lee Road, two miles south of Boynton Beach Blvd. off State Road 7. For more info., call Susan at (561) 627-7829 or Serena at (561) 735-6029.