(TX) Gators and gunmen added to nature show...


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Drizzt
April 25, 2003, 07:39 PM
Festival adds more to nature show

By Lora Bernard
Texas City Sun

Published April 24, 2003

TEXAS CITY — Gators and gunmen have been added to a nature show that has bloomed into a springtime festival within a year.

The recast Second Annual Spring Festival and the Texas City Hummer Butterfly Homecoming will feature a cowboy action shooting reenactment and live alligators complete with "Gator Man" wildlife wrangler, Jason Newsom.

Festivities are planned April 25-26 at Bay Street Park and in the 400 block of Sixth Street North near the Texas City Museum.

"We'll still do the wildflower identification and the butterfly identification just like we did last year, but we will also do a lot more," said Linda Turner, who is helping to coordinate the event.

The Newsom's Wildlife Co. from New Caney, Texas is promising to bring alligators, crocodiles, rattlesnakes, Albino Burmese pythons and a 12-foot King Cobra to Texas City.

The Travis County Regulators will dress in period costumes and carry historically accurate six-shooters during the spring fest. They'll mingle throughout the festival and answer questions about the Wild West when they aren't conducting live reenactments.

Last year, the event focused on gardening tips and exhibits. But, this year, organizers said they have expanded it into a cornucopia of festivity.

Everything from fairies to museum exhibits will be available to the public.

"There will be a focus for the children, but there will also be other events to entertain the adults," Turner said.

The festival started last year as a way to promote awareness of nature and to highlight the seasonal flight of hummingbirds and butterflies. Annually, hummingbirds migrate to South and Central America for winter while Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico.

But, because of the coastal climate, Monarchs can be found year-round in Texas City, although in fewer numbers than in the spring.

In March, the birds and the butterflies begin their trek back to the United States. The city festival is coordinated with the time they are most plentiful in Texas City.

The festival begins April 25 when library supporters are continuing a yearlong celebration of the Moore Memorial Library's 75th Anniversary with a fair and unveilings of a prominent British artists’ works.

The latest event designed to chug the festivities along is a railroad art exhibit.

Library supporters and staff are working with the Texas City Business & Professional Women to host the reception and opening of the David Weston Exhibit.

The British painter's railroad prints will be unveiled from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Texas City Museum, 409 Sixth Street North.

Bill Ludwig Jr. will be the guest speaker. He is donating a Weston painting to the library.

There is no charge to attend, but guest may purchase tickets for door prizes, said Susie Moncla, librarian. The prizes will include Weston's prints and books as well as other memorabilia.

The spring fest continues Saturday when the museum highlights its quilting exhibit with quilting demonstrations throughout the day. The Galveston County Model Railroad Exhibit will also be open.

Other organizations that will be featured include: the Houston Zoo, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Buffalo Soldiers, the Nature Conservancy, the Travis County Regulators, the Shark Club Kite Flyers, the Newsome's Gator Show, the Karate School for Kids, the Interactive Children's Presentations, the Mainland Preparatory Academy Choir and the Mainland Preparatory Academy Science Class.

At Bay Street Park, master gardeners will be available to answer questions. Identification of wildflowers and butterflies will be conducted. Information will be available about native plants and herb gardening techniques. The Wildlife Center of Gulf Coast Exhibit will also be on display.

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