DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – The 11th annual Festival of the Cranes will be a fully-immersed family-friendly event for an entire weekend in January at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge in Decatur.
The event will be held at the visitor’s center at the Refuge, located at 3121 Visitor Center Road on Saturday, Jan. 14 and Sunday, Jan. 15. Thousands of sandhill cranes, whooping cranes, waterfowl geese, raptors and maybe even a bald eagle could be spotted as they migrate to the refuge in preparation for the winter season.
The Bird Walk kicks off Saturday at 8 a.m. with Refuge Manager Dwight Cooley, followed by a “Birding 101” at 9 a.m. with Christopher Joe.
You can also watch the birds fly in from the comfort of the heated Observation Building anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Officials say there is a limited capacity for that building.
On Sunday, the Observation Building will be open all day, and there will also be a Periodic Art demo by Alabama artist Timothy M. Joe. Visitors can watch as he paints various nature scenes around the visitor’s center.
There will additionally be several demonstrations and educational presentations with live wildlife at the Princess Theatre in Decatur beginning Friday, January 13.
One of those performers is Steve Trash, an environmentalist and magician.
His show will take place at the Princess Theatre Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. Trash has a children’s show on PBS where he teaches kids about ecology and the environment. He says his show on Saturday night will have fun for the entire family.
“We’ve got magic, we’ve got music and we’ve got recycling mayhem which I shall be providing,” he said.