TAVARES - All birders and native-plant enthusiasts who are planning to attend any of the exciting events scheduled during the 2nd Annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival are encouraged to do so before the close of pre-registration on Monday, Sept. 23 at 5 p.m.
The festival, being held the weekend of Oct. 4 through 6, will offer unique birding and wildflower programs featuring acclaimed speakers, authors, birding and native plant experts, along with a host of eco-friendly opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers.
Specialty field trips will be offered at Hickory Point Recreational Park, 27341 State Road 19, Tavares, or at various off-site locations at both private and public venues on foot, by pontoon boat, kayak and Conestoga wagon. Some locales being spotlighted during the festival include the Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area, the Florida Scrub-jay Trail, the Green Swamp, Dora Canal and Ocala National Forest.
Those wishing to register for events at the festival can do so at the registration booth, open Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. All available openings will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Payments accepted at the festival will be cash or check. An ATM machine will be available on-site.
James Currie, host of NBC Sports’ “Nikon Birding Adventures,” will be a keynote speaker at a dinner at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 at the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora. The cost of the dinner is $30. Currie also will host an exclusive, narrated tour with Hobie Kayaks from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6, of one of Lake County’s most popular blueways – the Lake Harris Run. The kayak tour is part of the Premiere Package, which includes reserved seating at James Currie’s keynote dinner, plus extras. The cost of the Premier Package is $100 and is limited to 10 participants for each trip.
Jeffrey Gordon, president of the American Birding Association, and well-known author, photographer, speaker and tour leader in the birding community, will be the keynote speaker at a lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Marina del Ray at Mission Inn Resort & Club, 26300 State Road 19, Howey-in-the-Hills.
Dr. Walter Taylor, also known as Mr. Florida Wildflower, will discuss Florida wildflowers at a barbecue dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. at Hickory Point Recreational Park, 27341 State Road 19, Tavares. The band M.T. Pawketts will be performing live on stage following Dr. Taylor’s presentation.
The lunch with Jeffery Gordon is $25, while the dinner with Walter Taylor is $20.
Registration for all events is required, as space is limited. For more information, or to register for any of the festival’s many available events, field trips, activities and presentations, visit www.WingsAndWildflowers.com.
The 2nd Annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival is being sponsored by the Lakeside Inn of Mount Dora; Akers Media Group/Lake-Sumter Style Magazine; Hobie Cat Company; the Lake County Water Authority; The Leesburg Partnership; Christian Home & Bible School; Classic Tents & Events; Mission Inn Resort & Club; Classic Tents & Events; Chick-fil-A; City of Leesburg; Duke Energy; Farnsworth House Bed & Breakfast; Florida from a Kayak; Florida Native Plant Society, Lake Beautyberry Chapter; Florida Wildflower Foundation; Glasscat Design; Lakeview Inn of Tavares; McLin Education Foundation; Mount Dora Community Trust; Nikon; Ocklawaha Valley Audubon Society; Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Association; PAL Realty; Promise Habitat Services, LLC; SECO Energy; Shananne Cain Florist; Trout Lake Nature Center; and Publix.