Flint RiverQuarium set for Water, Wings, Wildlife fest

·3 min read

Sep. 18—ALBANY — Southwest Georgians are invited to join the fun at the Flint RiverQuarium Sept. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., for the annual celebration of all creatures great and small at the Water, Wings and Wildlife Festival.

The festival will be the Artesian Alliance's 13th such event.

Festival admission is included in the cost of regular Flint RiverQuarium admission. Saturday Aquarium and festival admission is free for all alliance members (Chehaw, Flint Riverquarium, and Thronateeksa). The schedule of demonstration events and presentations includes:

—9 a.m.-3 p.m. (on the hour every hour) — Discover SCUBA

—10:30 a.m. — Native Plant Society Talk

—11:30 a.m. — Birds of Prey Show

—12:30 p.m. — Reptile Presentation by the Rattlesnake Conservancy

—1:30 p.m. — Fly Fishing Talk & Demonstration by Mack Bryson

—2:30 p.m. — Birds of Prey Show

—3:30 p.m. — Reptile Presentation by the Rattlesnake Conservancy.

Those who choose to participate in the Discover SCUBA adventure will pay an additional fee of $40. Participants must be over the age of 12, and those under 18 must have a parent/guardian present. No previous experience with SCUBA diving or equipment is needed. Participants must bring their own bathing suits, towels and change of clothes.

All SCUBA diving gear, wet suits and fins are provided. Space is limited and pre-paid advance ticketing is required. Tickets are $40 and may be purchased online at https://flintriverquarium.regfox.com/discover-scuba-water-wings-and-wildlife-2021.

Participants will be able to get their fins wet in the Flint RiverQuarium Blue Hole and gain first-hand experience with everything SCUBA in an introductory class taught by staff from Adventure Dive Center. By the end of the lesson, they will be swimming with the gentle giants of the RiverQuarium collection, the striped bass and Atlantic sturgeons.

Additional presenters will be at the Flint RiverQuarium Plaza all day and include favorites like the native Butterfly House, with hundreds of butterflies guests can feed and interact with, and the Georgia Reptile Society. Guests can touch live reptiles and also learn about adopting rescue reptiles.

Other presenters include Flint Riverkeeper with water testing activities, Quail Forever with live quail and conservation education activities, and the Native Plant Society with native plants for sale and information. Monarchs Across Georgia will have butterfly education activities, and the Albany Audubon Society will have birding information. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will be on hand to discuss native animal conservation activities.

Crafts for the kids will be provided by Albany Recreation and Parks and the Artesian Alliance. Mack Bryson will provide fly fishing demonstrations and children's activities. The SOWEGA Beekeepers also will make a return appearance with beekeeping information. There will be "blow-up" archery in the Imagination Theater lobby. Children can shoot at blow-up targets inside the house with kid-safe bow and arrows.

The event will have food trucks present by Street Treats and Mi Casa, or visitors can choose to purchase food from the local downtown merchants who are open at the time of the event.

The Flint RiverQuarium is southwest Georgia's premier aquarium, featuring more than 1,000 animals that call the Flint River watershed home. The Flint RiverQuarium is located at 101 Pine Ave. in downtown Albany. Regular operating hours are Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.