Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Day With the Mermaids

The City of Weeki Wachee Springs has a population of 12 and its mayor is a former mermaid. She is also the manager of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, home of the historic Mermaid Theatre.

We visited there on Saturday. We could tell by the entrance that this is not your usual state park.
And its logo suggested girls on display but not really representative of mermaids - where are the tails??
Also, the "Swamp Festival" was happening there when we arrived and the park appeared to be crowded with vendors' tents.

However this young woman at the entrance enticed us to purchase tickets and enter the park in search of the mermaids.
After wending our way through what seemed like hundreds of vendor booths we came upon the Mermaid Theatre:
Newton Perry created this theatre in 1946.  The original theatre seated 18. The theatre is built into a natural spring in the Weeki Wachee river. Today the theatre seats 500.

At the entrance the "things you need to know before entering" are explained in a friendly and creative way.
When we entered the theatre the curtain was down. But you effective lighting let you know you were looking at a wall of water.

There were several TVs, like the one you see at the top of the curtain where they show Kelly Clarkson's video that accompanied her song "Stronger". The mermaids made a brief appearance in the video - what great promotion for the song.

The performance we saw was their version of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Littlest Mermaid". Very well done.
The underground spring "stage" was beautiful with fish and turtles swimming though the performance.

The mermaids appeared from below and above the screen.

The hoses you see the mermaids holding are special air supply tubes that allow the performers to breath while underwater.

And bubble from above and below were used when scenery changes were required:

The cast consisted of 3 mermaids, the wicked witch of the deep and of course, the handsome prince. Unfortunately the battery in my camera died before the witch and prince made their appearance.

A very excellent show that kept both children and adults enthralled through the whole performance.

More pictures of our visit to Florida's Nature Coast here 


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