Wild About Wakulla Week! April 12 -21

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Wakulla County is located immediately south of the state capital and is not only home to a great wealth of wildlife, but also has a charming history. Wild About Wakulla combines both of these elements into a week-long celebration. It is designed to promote Wakulla County’s environment, culture, heritage and asthetics, while striving to improve the well being of the county’s residents. Over 70% of Wakulla county is owned and managed by either the federal government or the state government. These properties provide a great number of unique outdoor experiences. They also help to protect and preserve many of the county’s historic and archaeological resources and provide the public with access to them.  This week long celebration is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to explore some of the wonderful natural and historic places located in Wakulla.

The week will kick off with the Worm Gruntin’ Festival in historic downtown Sopchoppy on Saturday, April 13th. That’s right, worm grunting! The worm grunting process involves pounding a stake (called a stob) into the ground and rubbing a flat piece of iron across the top to vibrate the stob. This vibration causes the earthworms to come to the surface where they can easily be collected and used for fishing bait. Many people in the Sopchoppy area have made their living by worm grunting. At the festival folks can try their own hand at grunting!  In addition to this wonderfully unique heritage festival, many other events will be taking place throughout the week, including tours of some of the historical and archaeological sites in the area. To get all the details about the festivals, tours, and other Wild About Wakulla events you can visit their website. Since this year marks the 500th commemoration of Ponce de Leon landing on Florida’s shores, there is a special focus this year on Viva Florida 500 themed events.

The Wakulla County Archives and Old Jail Museum.

Some of the historic and cultural sites that are being highlighted this year include the Big Bend Maritime Center, the St. Marks Historic Lighthouse, Fort San Marcos de Apalache, the Wakulla County Archives and Old Jail Museum, the Historic Wakulla Courthouse, the Sopchoppy Train Depot and area historic cemeteries. Additionally, the Panacea Warm Mineral Springs, which were once revered for their healing ability, as well as Wakulla Springs (Ed Ball Wakulla Springs State Park) are included as destinations of interest for this year’s celebration. Wakulla Springs is hosting the Wakulla Wildlife Festival on April 20th, which will highlight both the cultural and natural resources of the area and outdoor activity opportunities available in the region. FPAN will have a booth there where we will have real artifacts found at Wakulla Springs on display, along with a wide array of archaeological information and literature.

Wild About Wakulla is a great opportunity to do some exploring of your own and learn about the area. I hope you will join us at some of these events and tours. The weather is warming up and it is a great time to be outdoors!




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