Turtle Festival draws crowd despite weekend rain

It was pouring rain when the vendors set up their tents for the sixth annual Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Festival, but the stormy weather let up just in time for the event, which welcomed thousands of visitors to George Core Park on Saturday.

The festival, which is held around the Fourth of July every year, aims to educate attendees about sea turtles and the importance of the coastal habitats they and many other species call home.

This year, almost 30 vendors and several food trucks participated in the event – alongside 11 educational booths, at which turtles swam up to guests in glass tanks.

It also featured the first annual Sea Creature Parade.

Live music was intermittently interrupted for informative turtle talks, which discussed several local species of turtle and the important roles they play in the Florida ecosystem.

 “We give a huge thank you to all of our 2022 festival sponsors, who help us make this festival happen for our community,” the Florida Coastal Conservancy said in a Facebook post. 

“Please support this wonderful group by checking out their services – Bradley’s Automatic Gates Inc., DragonFly Photo Design, Flyaway Paper Straws, Gulf 2 Bay Development and Construction, Panache Tent & Events, Scallop RePUBlic, Knot Forgotten Vacation Rentals, and Carol & Dave Motil.”

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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