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WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. - Wild About Wakulla Week is a celebration of Wakulla County, the "Natural Place to Be". The week from April 14-22, 2012 highlights the heritage and outdoor recreational opportunities of Wakulla County.
The Kick-Off event is the Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival held on April 14, 2012. The event focuses upon the art of worm gruntin' - the act of pounding a stake (stob) into the ground and rubbing a flat piece of iron across its top to vibrate earthworms from the soil. The earthworms come to the surface where they are collected for fish bait. The process borders on mystical, but for some local folks it has provided a way of life for over 50 years. The worm gruntin' demonstrations captivate both young and old.
The festival is held along the picturesque downtown streets of Sopchoppy, FL. Events begin at 9:00am and offer over 80 vendors providing food, arts and crafts. The day concludes with the Worm Grunter's Ball. There is no admission to the event and it is loaded with family oriented activities. Please visit www.WormGruntinFestival.com for more information.
Special events, tours, and activities will be held April 15-20 throughout Wakulla County's scenic, friendly, and historic communities.
On Sunday, April 15, the Wakulla Welcome Center in Panacea will host a reception for Lou and Betsy Kellenberger's "Wonders of Wakulla" photographic exhibit from 4:00-6:00pm. Both award-winning photographers, the Kellenberger's art evokes a passion for the heritage and natural beauty of the region.
Visit the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea with your children or grandchildren to be introduced to the glee of hands-on discovery. This is a must-experience opportunity not only during Wild About Wakulla Week but anytime the "explorer" inside you is looking to create vivid memories. Visit www.GulfSpecimen.org to get started on your family adventure or go to www.PalmettoExpeditions.com to make arrangements for a special tour on Tuesday, April 17.
St. Mark's, America's Oldest River Town, exemplifies the hospitality of a cozy gulf side village. Although any day is a good day to visit this coastal community, its welcoming arms will offer guests special home-town opportunities on Wednesday, April 18. The Sweet Magnolia Inn will host a tour of its historic Bed and Breakfast. Shields Marina, Bo Lynn Store, and The Shell Island Fish Camp, are just a few of the businesses which will be inviting guests by for conversation, snacks, and raffle sign-ups.
If manatees are an inspiration, then contact T-n-T Hide-A-Way (850-925-6412) for more information on their guided manatee observation tour. Sunsets on the bay are certain memory makers. St. Mark Charters (StMarksCharters.com) can make those memories happen. For information regarding a shorter and very reasonably priced St. Mark's River Sample Cruise on Wednesday, April 18, visit www.WildAboutWakulla.com.
Hometown hospitality culminates with a fish fry beginning at 5:00pm at the Yacht club in St. Mark's. Grouper along with cheese grits, hushpuppies and sweet tea highlight a delectable taste of this gulf coast village. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12. Tickets are available at St. Mark's City Hall or by calling 850-321-4522. Raffle winners will be chosen during the fish fry.
Evening activities continue at the St. Mark's Wildlife Refuge with a lantern-light tour of the lighthouse keeper's home beginning at 7:30pm. Space is limited. Please call 850-925-6121 for reservations.
Visit www.PalmettoExpeditions.com for a wide selection of tours suited to varying tastes and activity levels throughout the week. The website is a gateway to outdoor fun in Wakulla County and the Big Bend Region. Make arrangements for a trail ride, a sunset cruise, or an action packed saltwater fishing charter. Perhaps a personalized tour of Wakulla County's sinkholes with a gourmet cheese and fruit picnic included would be more to your taste. Then inspired by your nature experience, channel your inner artist to create your own masterpiece during a hands-on workshop led by a professional clay artist. Make your excursion planning easy by visiting Wakulla expeditions on-line.
On Friday evening, April 20, the Wakulla Wildlife Festival will delight residents and visitors with its Art on the Terrace at the historic Wakulla Springs Lodge in Wakulla Springs State Park. Fine art, fine food and fine music highlight the evening's activities.
The fun continues on Saturday, April 21 at Wakulla Springs State Park as the Wakulla Wildlife Festival goes into high gear offering inspiring local musicians, knowledgeable exhibitors, dazzling presentations, convincing living history demonstrators, and special premium guided tours. Visit www.WakullaWildlifeFestival.org for more information.
The week's events wrap up on Sunday, April 22 with "Conquistadors in the Fabled Land of the Apalachee". Celebrating Viva Florida 500, the event dramatically captures the rich history at the confluence of the St. Mark's and Wakulla Rivers with informative boat cruises along with museum and fort tours at San Marcos de Apalache State Park. Please visit www.PalmettoExpeditions.com for dates, times, and registration.
Please visit www.WildAboutWakulla.com to guide you to more of what makes Wakulla County a destination for heritage and outdoor recreational activities and adventure.