Everglades Day Family Festival Returns To Lox Refuge Feb. 9

The 20th annual Everglades Day Family Festival at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge will be held Saturday, Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The public is invited to come out to the refuge for Everglades Day, featuring activities for all ages. This year’s theme is “Give Wings to Your Wild Side.” Enjoy guided tours, nature walks, bird walks, wildlife demonstrations, presentations, exhibits, games, kids fishing, kids archery, face painting, canoeing, live music, dance, food trucks and much more.

Special guest speaker Judge Nelson Bailey and his Florida hunting dog will bring to life Florida’s early years of “Crackers, Cows and Curs,” and coming from the Seminole Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Alyssa Boge will speak about the Seminoles’ connections to the Everglades.

Other special guests include South Florida singer/songwriter Grant Livingston, Everglades water quality expert Dr. Donatto Surratt of the National Park Service, alligator researcher Dr. Laura Brandt of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, bat researcher Dr. Frank Ridgley of Zoo Miami, butterfly expert Alana Edwards of the Atala Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association, Roseate Spoonbill researcher Dr. Jerry Lorenz of Audubon Florida, native reptile experts from the South Florida Herpetological Society, non-native reptile expert Ashley Lawrence of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, wildlife photographer Lance Warley, and biologists Kelly Gestring and Dr. John Galvez giving their fish electroshock demos.

Examine cultural and historical exhibits with representatives from Yesteryear Village, A Time Remembered, Gladesmen, the Seminole Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Palm Beach Zoo, the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and the Okeeheelee Nature Center will exhibit some of their rehabilitated wildlife, and the Plein Air painters will be all around the refuge painting what they see.

There will be free admission all day with free parking for visitors three miles south of the refuge at West Delray Regional Park (10875 W. Atlantic Ave.), with buses running to the Refuge Visitor Center and back continuously, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors in wheelchairs and those with other special needs can use one of two vans that will be looping among festival venues, starting at the Visitor Center.

For more information about the Everglades Day program, visit www.loxahatcheefriends.com.

This program is made possible by donors and sponsors, including the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Audubon Everglades and the Friends of the Refuge.