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TALLAHASSEE ? The Florida Department of Environmental Protection?s (DEP) Weeki Wachee Springs State Park?s famous mermaids made history this past week when they performed at the Sea Life London Aquarium in England. The trip marks the first time the mermaids have travelled internationally to perform.
?The Mermaid show has been a part of Florida?s history since 1947 and the Florida Park Service is pleased to present the magic of the mermaids internationally,? said DEP?s Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. ?One of Florida?s original roadside attractions, the mermaid show is a unique tradition that you cannot find anywhere else.?
Mermaids Marcy Terry, Stayce McDonnell and Shannon Tooker ?swam? all the way to London last week, representing Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with two days of performances for their international fans. The mermaids performed three times a day in front of standing room only crowds to the familiar tunes from Weeki Wachee Springs. The mermaids made some new underwater friends swimming with string rays, sharks and a variety of fish at the Sea Life London Aquarium and spent time out of the water signing autographs.
The mermaids plan to leave the Florida waters again to perform in other aquariums throughout 2010, including Ripley?s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Ripley?s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Located in Hernando County, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, ?The Only City of Live Mermaids,? is an important cultural resource and became the newest Florida State Park in 2008. One of Florida?s 33 first magnitude springs is found in the park, providing a valuable natural resource for preservation and protection. The park is home to the only underwater observatory built directly into a natural spring. The mermaids can be seen performing three times daily at the park, open 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
Created in 1935 by the Florida Legislature, the Florida State Park system has grown from eight to 160 parks in the last 75 years. Today, the Florida Park Service manages more than 700,000 acres of Florida?s natural environment, including 100 miles of beaches, eight National Historic Landmarks and 39 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Florida State Parks has been recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association as the nation?s first and only two-time Gold Medal winner for the nation?s best park service.
For more information about Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, visit www.floridastateparks.org/weekiwachee. To learn more about the 75th Anniversary and the history of Florida State Parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org/history. To follow Florida State Parks on Twitter, visit www.Twitter.com/FLStateParks.
Images of the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park mermaids' trip to the Sea Life London Aquarium are available upon request.
"The Mermaid show has been a part of Florida?s history since 1947 and the Florida Park Service is pleased to present the magic of the mermaids internationally."
Last updated: May 21, 2010