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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2010
CONTACT: Marguerite Jordan, (850) 245-3029 or (850) 251-7282 (cell)
  Kristin Lock, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 778-7294 (cell)

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Hosts 75th Anniversary Celebration Event

~Visitors experience Florida’s newest state park and celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks~

SPRING HILL – In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park hosted a weekend event with special presentations and performances on Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15. The event represented one of 25 signature events taking place throughout 2010 to honor the state’s award winning park system.

“Truly a unique gem as one of Florida’s original roadside attractions, the mermaid show is a tradition that you cannot find anywhere else,” said Florida State Parks Director Donald Forgione. “This weekend’s festivities provided visitors with a glimpse into the past of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and the Florida Park Service.”

The two day event featured a history presentation about Florida State Parks from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and special mermaid performances from both current and former park mermaids. Photo opportunities with the mermaids in retro mermaid tails and swimsuits were also be available for the public. In addition, former mermaids were available to tell stories and share memories of the past six decades at Weeki Wachee Springs.

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.

To learn more about 75th Anniversary events, and the history of Florida State Parks, visit www.floridastateparks.org/history. To follow Florida State Parks on Twitter, visit www.Twitter.com/FLStateParks. For more information on Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org/WeekiWachee.

Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids

"Truly a unique gem as one of Florida’s original roadside attractions, the mermaid show is a tradition that you cannot find anywhere else."

Donald Forgione
Florida State Parks Director

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Last updated: July 11, 2011

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