Mark Schantz (The Suncoast News) reports that each year, manatees meander into Spring Bayou to enjoy its waters, which are usually warmer than those in the Gulf of Mexico. This year Tarpon Springs will hold its inaugural Manatee Celebration Day the winter home of several of the marine mammals. The festivities in Craig Park, home of the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum, will take place from 10am until 4pm on Saturday, January 16, 2010. The park will offer entertainment and information about manatees. Events will include lectures, films, painting activities for youngsters, gift-giveaways, and a manatee gift shop sale.
The 58-minute-long film Endangered Mermaids will be shown at the museum at 10am and 3pm. At 11 am renowned Tarpon Springs-based artist Christopher Still will discuss his manatee-themed mural “The Spring of Life.” A large reproduction of the work, the original of which is in the Florida House of Representatives, can be seen at Heritage Museum. Artist April Davis will discuss how she captures manatees on canvas. Prints of one of her paintings, the featured work in the 2009 Tarpon Springs Fine Art Festival, will be available for sale. At noon, the Save the Manatee Club will present a talk at the bayou on conservation of the sea cows. At 2pm, marine biologist Brandon Bassett will give a lecture and slide presentation on the life of manatees.