It's time to run, walk, slither, swim and fly into the fourth annual Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival on Aug. 28 and 29 at the Georgia International Horse Park.
The festival, which brings together families with wildlife and information about the natural world, bosts several new activities for 2010. Highlights include the "Animal Olympics," a Fishing Simulator Game, Spruce Creek Mining activity, Georgia State Frisbee Dog Championships, Moe's Southwest Grill Beach Zone and "Splash Into Art, Come Paint with Us" art activity.
The Frisbee Dog competition, put on by Woof Sports USA, will be a qualifyier to the state Frisbee Dog Championships. "It's a new edition that we're really excited about," said organizer Rebecca Hill. In addition to catching frisbees, the dogs do tricks with their owners.
At the "Animal Olympics" activity, provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, children can learn the movements and behaviors of animals by following an obstacle course and acting out the movements of animals, such as hopping like a frog or tunneling like a gopher. Adults and children can reel in a big catch at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Fishing Simulator Game, or pan for gems at the Spruce Creek Mining Activity. Children can also learn to paint various outdoor scenes or objects at the "Splash Into Art, Come Paint with Us" painting classes provided by Ezell's Studios or build a sand castle in the Moe's Southwest Grill Beach Zone. The festival also welcomes the Georgia State Frisbee Dog Tournament as part of this year's festivities.
The 2010 festival is also bringing back several popular activities from the past. Steve Scruggs, the "Snake Master," presents snakes from North America. Wildlife Wonders will give guests an up-close encounter with many different wild animals on the Food Lion Stage. Learn about wild and crazy reptile rescue stories from Jason Clark with Southeastern Reptile Rescue, as seen on the television show "SnakesKin" on Animal Planet. See native wildlife at the A.W.A.R.E. exhbit from Panola Mountain State Park and shop among unique arts and craft exhibitors in the artist market. Guests can learn the basics of fly-fishing, archery and hunting with hands-on demonstrations provided by Venture Outdoors. The living history section will offer a glimpse of the past as re-enactors show how Creek and Cherokee Indians lived off the land, and the influence of early settlers in their lives.
There will also be a Mr. and Miss Wildlife Pageant at the Carriage House on Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., put on by Southern Paradise Pageants.
Hill said organizers are expecting between 5,000 to 7,000 attendees this year. Last year, about 5,000 people attended, although the second day of the festival had been rained out.
Admission to the festival is $5 per person, and children ages 4 and under free. Free parking is available just across from the festival entrance. For more information or directions to the Georgia International Horse Park, call 770-602-2606 or 1-800-CONYERS or go to www.bighaynescreekwildlifefestival.com