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Wild times at Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Fest Aug 25-26
Big Haynes Wildlife fest 2011 - madelineMclintock IMG 0473
Madeline Mclintock, 4, giggles as a Cavy nibbles on her finger at the Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival. - photo by Michelle Kim

Give a hoot and get excited about the outdoors at the 6th Annual Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival on August 25-26 at the Grand Prix Plaza of the Georgia International Horse Park. This unique event provides activities for the entire family featuring wildlife exhibits, reptile shows, birds of prey, storytelling, living history, arts, crafts and much more.

Meet Nadia, Banshee, and Boo, the owl stars of the Birds of Prey show, as they show off their amazing flying skills. Jason Clark with the Southeast Reptile Rescue returns with the Reptile Wagon, providing up-close encounters with snakes, turtles and alligators, while guests can learn about a variety of mammals during the Wildlife Wonders show. The living history section provides guests with a glimpse into the past when Creek and Cherokee Indians lived off the land along with primitive cooking demonstrations. The artist market provides exclusive shopping among handmade gifts and home goods.

The festival features many new activities during the 2012 event. The Interactive Parrot Show will acquaint visitors with these colorful birds and explain how they compare to the birds seen every day, while the East Metro Tennis Association will allow festival-goers to discover the joy of participating in outdoor sports.

Children can participate in the “Hoot Scavenger Hunt.” If children find “Hoot” the owl, they’re encouraged to return him to the information booth to win a special Wildlife Festival souvenir. Children can also create their own “Hoot” at the children’s art activity. Other highlights include camel rides with Rufus, Spider Mountain, Hamster Ball, Georgia State Frisbee Dog Championships, steam engine train rides, and live entertainment featuring award-winning Georgia artists.

Guests can also take part by shooting wildlife – on camera, that is. The BJ’s Membership Club Backyard Wildlife Photo Contest returns with photos of wildlife and nature submitted from the public. The submission deadline is August 10. Three finalists will be selected for display during the Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival, where guests can vote on their favorite photo. The photo submission with the most votes during the festival will receive a $100 gift certificate to BJ’s Membership Club, and one lucky voter will receive two free tickets to the Georgia Aquarium.

Admission to the festival is $5 per person, with children ages 4 and under free. For detailed event information or directions to the Georgia International Horse Park, located just off Interstate 20, call the Conyers Welcome Center at (770) 602-2606 or 1-800-CONYERS. Visit the Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival web page at