Huntington Beach to host Wildlife and History Day

Murrells Inlet, SC - MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – Huntington Beach State Park is gearing up for its 16th annual South Strand Wildlife and History Day.

The event celebrates the natural and cultural history of the Grand Strand area and will include activities for the whole family. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event as part of the Canadian American Days.

The Wildlife and History Day is set for March 17 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. All programs, activities and admission to Atalaya will be free with paid park admission. The admission fee is $5 for adults, $3 for children 6 to 15 and free for ages 5 and under.

Displays and hands-on activities will be provided by a variety of organizations set up in the courtyard of Atalaya, the castle-like former home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Visitors will have the chance to get acquainted with a real live snake or baby alligator, explore displays of local seashells and fossils, or learn more about the history of the Lowcountry.

Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by Wendell Matthews, while several restaurants will offer plenty of local delicacies for purchase.

There are several events set to take place throughout the 2,500-acre park. A costumed interpreter from Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site will be giving a black powder demonstration. There will be a guided walk along the edge of Mallard Pond to observe live alligators in their native habitat.

Huntington Beach State Park is considered by many to be the best birding spot in South Carolina, and visitors will have the chance to find this out first-hand as they learn the basics of bird watching from noted local birders, Phil and Sharon Turner. One of the highlights of the day will be the 1:00 pm free-flight raptor demonstration presented high above the park by the Center for Birds of Prey.

Other programs throughout the day will focus on topics such as marine mammals, reptiles, folklore, sea turtles, and others. Tours of Atalaya, a National Historic Landmark, will be provided by members of the Friends of Huntington Beach State Park every hour from 11 am to 2 pm.

Huntington Beach State Park is located along U.S. 17 in Murrells Inlet and is home to a freshwater lagoon, salt marsh and maritime forest that offer visitors an outstanding example of South Carolina's natural coastal environment.

For more information about the park, go to www.huntingtonbeachsc.org.

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