Wheeler Refuge to celebrate 75th year

The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate its 75th anniversary Oct. 5.

Hosted by the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Assoc-iation, the celebration will include guided bird-watching field trips and nature hikes, children’s nature programs, bird banding, arrowhead making, lasershot games, hot air balloon tethered rides, archery and hay rides.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the celebration will provide festivalgoers with multiple opportunities for natural resource exploration through demonstrations, hands-on activities and field trips onto refuge lands. The Alabama 4-H Center will have three presentations of “Raptor Trek!” It is a popular live bird of prey program featuring free flying owls, hawks and a bald eagle. Show times are at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.

Larry and Cheryl Battson, founders of Wildlife Educational Services will present their live wildlife program in three scheduled programs at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. They have worked with Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and their animals have appeared on television programs such as The Tonight Show, Oprah and the Today Show.

The Teddy Roosevelt Show featuring Joe Wiegand entertains audiences nationwide with his reprisal of President Theodore Roosevelt. As a one-man theater show, Joe’s T.R. shares stories full of adventure, laughter and inspiration.

T.R. will be presenting at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. He will also be visiting area schools prior to the Saturday event.

Additional planned activities include a Castingkids Contest presented by Bassmasters of North Alabama; Jakes Take Aim target shooting/firearm safety presented by the National Wild Turkey Federation; and Lasershot Game presented by Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Other demonstrations include archery, flint napping, bird banding, hay rides, face painting, hot air balloon rides and a corn maze.

Exhibitors including Alabama Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, TVA, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Resource and Conservation Service, Alabama’s Mountains, Rivers and Valleys Resource conservation and Development Council, and the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Associ-tion also will be on hand to share information. All activities and programs are free to the public.

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