LEESBURG – Celebrate the diversity and wonder of Lake County’s birds, wildflowers and natural resources at the 3rd Annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival, to be held Oct. 3-5 at Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, Florida.
The Wings and Wildflowers Festival hopes to make the 2014 experience unforgettable by hosting field trips in birding hotspots and wildflower havens, as well as bringing some the nation's top birding, wildflower and nature experts to the area to share their knowledge.
This year’s keynote speakers include Greg Miller, the inspiration behind the star-studded film “The Big Year,” Stacy Tornio, editor of the premier national birding and gardening publication “Birds & Blooms” and Roger L. Hammer, an award-winning naturalist and author who served as the director of Castellow Hammock Nature Center in Miami.
The festival will showcase Lake County’s enticing outdoor recreational opportunities, particularly for birders. Birds flock to Lake County, which is home to thousands of acres of preserves and passive parklands, including the Lake Apopka Restoration Area, Ferndale Preserve, Emeralda Marsh and the Hilochee Wildlife Management Area.
Lake County is partnering with the city of Leesburg in hosting this year’s festival at the beautiful 64-acre Venetian Gardens, 201 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg. On the west shore of Lake Harris, the park boasts one of the city's three boating and recreation access points to the Harris Chain of Lakes. Venetian Gardens includes landscaped islands separated by tranquil canals, ideal for bird watching. Many festival vendors will be housed inside the newly renovated Leesburg Community Building.
With Lake County’s reputation as a premier birding location, the goal of this festival to enhance awareness and appreciation of Lake County’s quality of life and support environmental initiatives on behalf of citizens and visitors alike. Last year’s festival was held Oct. 4-6, 2013 at Hickory Point Recreational Park in Tavares, Florida and featured more than 100 activities and programs over the course of three days.
For up-to-date information on the 3rd Annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival, visit www.wingsandwildflowers.com or like the festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WingsandWildflowers. To become a sponsor or vendor, contact Debi Dyer, tourism supervisor with the Lake County Economic Development & Tourism Department, at 352-429-3673 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.