LEESBURG – The 3rd Annual Wings & Wildflowers Festival, to be held Oct. 3-5 at Venetian Gardens, 201 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg, is bringing some of the nation’s top birding, wildflower and nature experts to share their knowledge during keynote dinners and events.
With over 130,000 miles, 700 species and 50 years of experience under his belt, keynote speaker Greg Miller’s adventures earned him the distinction of working as the official bird consultant for the 2011 film “The Big Year” starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson.
“It was truly a treat to watch the movie being made and to have a part in the creation of a story for the silver screen,” said Miller.
Bird enthusiasts will get a chance to rub elbows with Miller during his keynote dinner, at the Leesburg Boat Club from 6-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4. For $30, participants will receive a BBQ dinner while Miller discusses his “big year” and his role on the set of a major feature film.
All registered participants of the dinner will also be entered to win the “Experience Lake County – Real Florida. Real Close.” gift basket, complete with merchandise signed by Miller, two tickets for a Segway tour by Segway of Central Florida, two tickets for a boat tour with Premier Boat Tours, two tickets for a keynote dinner with James Currie at the 2015 festival, a wire bird feeder, a Birds & Bloom 2015 Planner, Wings & Wildflowers Festival merchandise featuring commemorative art and more.
Fellow keynote speakers Roger L. Hammer, an award-winning naturalist and author, and Stacy Tornio, editor of the premier national birding and gardening publication “Birds & Blooms,” will be the guests of honor at a keynote dinner held from 6-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 at Lakeside Inn, 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora. The $35 dinner will offer a choice of chicken, beef or vegetarian options.
From 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 3, all three keynote speakers, plus additional festival experts, will attend the Meet & Greet the Experts Over Dessert at Lakeside Inn, 100 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora, where they will mingle with festival goers and sign autographs.
Advanced registration for keynote dinners is required. Visit www.wingsandwildflowers.com to sign up for these and any festival events.