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Meet snakes, lizards, birds and more at Elachee wildlife festival
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A Cuban rock iguana gets a touch during 2017 Snake Day at Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville. - photo by David Barnes

Meet critters that fly, slither and crawl at 2021 Snake Day Wildlife Festival.

After the cancelation last year of Snake Day and Raptor Fest due to the pandemic, the two events at Elachee Nature Science Center are being combined this year. Maranda McGaha, director of school and public programs at Elachee, said the festival will be a great opportunity for the community to get together and learn more about local wildlife.

“The purpose of this year’s Snake Day Wildlife Festival is for Elachee to once again interact face to face with our community and community partners after being on an unfortunate hiatus for so long,” she said.

The event, which features exhibits and live animal demonstrations, is scheduled 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. Tickets are $10 per person and $5 for Elachee members. Children younger than 2 are admitted free. 

At the event, expect to see species typically found in local backyards as well as several exotic species. Demonstrations will show off many snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, toads, frogs and even crocodiles. Those who attend will be able to interact with and touch many of the snakes shown.

“They will learn ways to safely cohabitate with snakes and other reptiles, and ways they can support a healthy environment for reptiles, birds and mammals in their own backyard,” McGaha said. “We think this festival will benefit the community by offering a safe and fun outdoor environment for individuals and families to learn and experience something new.”

The event also will feature a variety of large birds of prey, including owls and falcons, as well as injured and non-releasable wildlife from a local rehabilitation organization and a petting zoo full of farm animals. Exhibitors include Georgia Audubon, Monarchs Across Georgia and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

Masks will not be required at the outdoor event but social distancing will be encouraged. Masks will be required on shuttles to and from the parking lot, the gift shop and to visit the indoor animal exhibit.

For more information, call 770-535-1976 or visit

Snake Day Wildlife Festival

When: 10 a.m. Sept. 11

Where: 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville 

Tickets: $10 per person; $5 per Elachee member; children 2 and under free

More info: 

Snake Day Wildlife Festival at Elachee Nature Science Center will feature up-close encounters with reptiles and raptors. Photo courtesy Elachee Nature Science Center.
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