Marsh Madness is a community-based bird festival that will take place March 1-2. The festival will celebrate Greene County's abundant natural resources and feature the Sandhill Crane and waterfowl migration at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area (GPFWA).
The festival will start at 6:30 p.m., Friday with the Peabody Energy Kick-off Banquet featuring Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist Michael Sertle as the keynote speaker.
The Friday evening event will also include dinner, live music performed by Cade Puckett, silent and live auctions, door prizes and a cash bar. The event will take place at Shakamak State Park Group Camp Dining Hall.
Peabody Energy underwrites the Friday event. Proceeds from the night's event will go toward the Goose Pond Visitors' Center.
Saturday, events will take place from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
During the day on Saturday there will be self-guided tours of the surrounding area, where festival participants can marvel at the annual bird migration. Guided bus tours departing from the East Cabin in Humphreys Park will run hourly throughout the day on Saturday.
In addition to the tours, festival goers can attend a variety of talks and presentations by experts on such topics as Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, waterfowl and shorebirds among others.
For a full list of speakers/topics please visit www.marshmadness.info. Leslie Grow, from The Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center at Hardy Lake will be giving presentations and have several birds of prey on display including a Bald Eagle.
A craft and vendor fair will also take place during the day Saturday. Kid's activities will include some art and coloring contests and birdhouse construction.
Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center will host a showing of the works by the talented wildlife artist Robin Myers. Earthjoy Tree Adventures will be at Humphreys Park where they will be offering festival goers the opportunity, through a system of ropes, to safely climb in some of the grand old trees in the park.
Ducks Unlimited will host a waterfowl calling contest, retriever demonstrations, and on Saturday Night the Goose Pond Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold a Sportsman's Night Out event at Shakamak State Park. The Sportsman's Night Out runs from 7-10 p.m.
The event is intended to showcase the abundant and beautiful natural resources of Greene County, to attract out of area visitors and to provide a boost to the local economy. Additionally, Marsh Madness is intended to raise the awareness and appreciation of nature among festival attendees.
Tickets for Friday night are $25 a piece or tables of eight and 10 can also be purchased. Friday night's tickets are also good for admission to Saturday's events at Humpreys Park and Goose Pond FWA. Sportsman's Night Out tickets are available separately. For ticket information, go to www.marshmadness.info or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A $5 entrance fee will be charged for Saturday's events. Children-under-3 are free. Participants will receive a hand stamp at the door, which will allow them to attend many of the various activities on Saturday. Admission on Sunday is free.