| | The Manatee Messenger Bringing you the latest news about West Volusia's
special events, area attractions and lodging promotions
He's NO Chicken Little but he thought the sky was falling!
Manatees communicate underwater through a variety of sounds. A mother and calf use their own unique sounds to be able to locate each other. When a manatee is in distress or feels threatened, it starts squealing and others will rush to its aid.
Volusia is feeling much better these days after his recent "encounter" with a boat propeller. He is having so much fun playing with his friends Pal and Duffy and spends his days frolicking, sleeping and eating. And boy does he eat! But Volusia isn't stingy, he shares his greens, and the three young'uns are growing by leaps and bounds.
Last Wednesday, Volusia was happily munching on some tender water hyacinth that grows close to the banks of the St. Johns River when he saw a blur of motion and then felt a weight on his head. He spit out his meal and started loudly squealing, frozen with fright. Pal and Duffy, along with his mother Alice and other adult manatees raced to his side, all of them squealing as well. What a spectacle they saw - a snowy egret had landed on Volusia ! As the manatees converged, the egret took flight in search of a quieter place to soak up some sun. Once convinced that he was no longer in danger, everyone resumed their manatee activities. Volusia went back to eating and for awhile life along the St. Johns River returned to normal.
Next month: It's all about food!
Photo: Volusia the Manatee
Volusia's Adventures is an ongoing series of entertaining articles that illustrate typical manatee activities based on known behaviors and traits. Follow Volusia each month on his journey along the magnificent and historic St. Johns River to see what exciting situations he gets into.
May 27th from 6 - 9 p.m.
Featuring Fourth Friday in Downtown DeLand
Experience your next unforgettable vacation in West Volusia using foursquare on your smartphone. We invite you to check in, explore everything that makes West Volusia special, and earn some badges along the way! So mark your calendars for May 27th. Join us in Downtown DeLand for the next Foursquare Friday and take in all the fun Fourth Friday activities! Enjoy groovy music at Artisan Alley as well as food by Vera's Gourmet Grilled Pizza and DeLand's Best BBQ, a variety of arts and crafts vendors and live music. Visit Artisan Alley shops and studios including the Florida Jeweler's Studio, Renie's Retreat and Suehair's Bellydance Studio. Fine wine and a wide selection of beers will be available at Nest. Artisan Alley is located off New York Avenue, one block west of Woodland Boulevard behind the Beacon Newspaper. Admission is free! 6-10 p.m. For more information, contact Rob at Nest: 386-450-0200 or email email@example.com . The DeLand Art Walk will highlight 18 venues including shops, restaurants and galleries each displaying works by Central Florida artists. You may begin at the Museum of Florida Art, located at 600 North Woodland Blvd, at 5 p.m. and continue from 6-9 p.m. downtown. For more information, contact Sherrill at the Great Escape Gallery: 386-740-7777. www.delandartwalk.com Earn the Warhol Badge - Check in on foursquare at a total of 10 different venues categorized as Galleries to earn the Warhol Badge. There are 5 such Galleries included in the DeLand Art Walk during Fourth Friday.
Try for the Swarm Badge - Just check in to the foursquare venue called "Downtown DeLand" anytime during the three-hour event. A minimum of 50 foursquare users must check in during this time to unlock this badge, so spread the word to all your friends!
To learn more about foursquare, attractions to visit and badges to earn in West Volusia, visit our foursquare page . More Foursquare Friday deals in Do wntown DeLand will be coming soon so check back often.
Stay tuned for news about the next Foursquare Friday in June!
Countdown to Speed
Volusia County, Florida is your destination for speed on and off the track!
The retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program will be marked by the much anticipated final launch of Atlantis from Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 3:40 p.m. With vantage points about 30 miles away, the Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach and West Volusia County areas have plenty of prime viewing locations to feel the excitement of this momentous event. Check out our map showing many of the best places to watch the lift off. ( Map on website soon. )
Just a few days after the launch, the stars of NASCAR will head to Daytona International Speedway to celebrate the Independence Day weekend. First up on Friday, July 1, the young guns of the Nationwide Series will face off against Sprint Cup Series drivers in the Subway Jalapeno 250 race. Then Saturday evening, Sprint Cup Series drivers will hit the asphalt again for the Coke Zero 400 Race . Four-time Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Martina McBride will ignite the track during Saturday's pre-race concert. And after the race, fans will not want to miss the magnificent fireworks display!
So come to Volusia County for the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch and stay for the Coke Zero 400 activities. While you are here, explore our diverse collection of attractions. We have lots of great accommodations to choose from conveniently located along major Central Florida highways, so connecting your experiences is easy.
More Hot Deals & Packages
West Volusia Golf Escape - JUST $89pp PER NIGHT!!!
Tee up for some of the best golfing in Central Florida with great priced golf packages! Golfers visiting West Volusia will be pleasantly surprised to find themselves walking championship courses with rolling hills and lush fairways more characteristic of the Carolinas. Price includes one 18-hole round of golf, cart and one bag of range balls per night stay as well as accommodations (based on double occupancy) and breakfast. In addition, each golfer receives a free eco-friendly golf gift and a chance to win a Wilson golf bag.
Look for our Golf Escape Summer Specials , beginning in June, for even greater discounts on golf packages!
St. Johns River Fishing Escapes
The West Volusia section of the St. Johns River, a federally designated American Heritage River, boasts some of the best fishing Florida has to offer. Largemouth black bass, warmouth, bluegill, specks, stripers and catfish abound. Our professional and knowledgeable guides will show you a great time. Not only is the fishing terrific here, but a day out on the soothing sun dappled waters of the majestic St. Johns surrounded by lush landscapes and native wildlife will refresh your spirit!
Hotel/Motel: 1876 Heritage Inn, Orange City - The 1876 Heritage Inn, Volusia County's oldest hotel, is located in a national register historic district, centrally located between Daytona Beach and the Orlando area attractions. Quaint accommodations and friendly service make the inn a perfect destination for a vacation, honeymoon, anniversary or weekend getaway. Leashed pets are welcome. The Red Roof Cafe is located on site and is also pet-friendly with a doggie dining area in an interior courtyard. The inn is home to one of only three U.S. Postal Museums in the country. 386-774-8849 www.1876heritageinn.com
Bed & Breakfast: Cabin on the Lake, Lake Helen - Relaxation awaits you in the quite historic town of Lake Helen. Each guest room in this cozy English country inn has a different and unique appeal with a view of the lake and gardens. Enjoy a full breakfast on the patio or gazebo. New features include weekend bistro lunches on request and private psychic readings. Ask about expert massage therapy and other special packages. 386-951-2684 www.cabinonthelake.com
Riverfront: Highland Park Marina, DeLand - Since 1962, this 30-acre fish camp has been located on the backwaters of the St. Johns River bordering Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. It features cabins, RV spots and tent camping with a full line of pontoon, bass and small skiff boat rentals, a complete bait and tackle shop, and free river maps. Leashed pets are welcome. Fishing guides are available to help you land that trophy bass! 386-734-2334 www.hpfishcamp.com
Campground: Gemini Springs Park, DeBary - Pitch your tent and enjoy Gemini Springs Park's 210 acres of waterfront beauty and outdoor fun. The park features multi-use and nature trails, canoe & kayak rentals, and playgrounds for the kids and friendly dogs. Additional amenities include electric hookups, restroom and shower facilities, grills and picnic areas. 386-668-3810 www.volusia.org/parks/gemini.htm
Featured May Events May is the perfect time to get out and enjoy all the family-friendly festivals and activities that are happening in West Volusia! Below are a few highlights from our Calendar of Events . With so much to see and do, it's the perfect time to plan a vacation or weekend getaway. Experience our charming, small-town Florida communities, unique shopping, delightful restaurants and affordable accommodations.
Continuing through May 29: Spring Exhibits by Susan Zukowsky, Nazare Feliciano and Joanna White, Museum of Florida Art, DeLand - The Museum is featuring three contemporary artists' works in the exhibits Intimations of Fate: Mixed Media Constructions by Susan Zukowsky and Sight Specific: Installations by Nazare Feliciano and Joanna White . The Museum is also displaying for the first time its full collection of Purchase Awards from the DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts. 386-734-4371 www.museumoffloridaart.com
May 4: Exhibition Softball Game, Conrad Park, DeLand - Likened to the Harlem Globetrotters of softball, The King and His Court 4-man exhibition softball team (since 1946) comes to take on the DeLand AllStars as part of its Farewell Tou r. 386-740-5800 www.deland.org www.kingandhiscourt.com
May 5: 20th Annual Wild Game Feast, Volusia County Fairgrounds, DeLand - Your taste buds will explode with the continuous sampling of exotic food delicacies like rattlesnake, venison, 'gator tail, frog legs, wild turkey, catfish fingerlings, swamp cabbage and many more traditional Florida Cracker dishes. Contact: Mark Watts 386-736-7700 www.wildgamefeast.org
May 7: Lake Helen Arts and Craft Festival, Blake Park, Lake Helen - Bringing a variety of arts and crafts to the community, the festival will be held in conjunction with the weekly Market in the Park and the West Volusia Saddle Club speed show at the Equestrian Center. There will be vendors, live music and a kids' activity zone. Contact: De D'Onofrio 386-228-9957 delhpark@@yahoo.com
May 7: Weird and Wacky Florida, DeBary Hall Historic Site, DeBary - Charlie Carlson, host of the PBS television show Weird Florida: Roads Less Traveled , will speak about the eccentricities he has discovered while traveling Florida's highways and byways. Light refreshments and lemonade will be offered before the presentation. 386-668-3840 www.debaryhall.com
May 7-8: 16th Annual Orchid Show and Sale, Volusia County Fairgrounds, DeLand - "Dancing with Orchids" is the theme for this year's Orchid Society show, taking place over Mothers Day Weekend. There will be floral arrangements, growing supplies, orchid-related merchandise, and corsages available for purchase as well as orchid repotting and dividing services for nominal fees. 386-822-3178 www.vcosonline.org
May 7-July 10: Through the Collector's Eye , Florida Museum for Women Artists, DeLand - Art work from five important Florida collectors in a variety of media and styles will be on display and will include insight from the collectors on how they got started and how they select art. 386-873-2976 www.floridamuseumforwomenartists.org
May 12-14: Into the Woods Junior , Athens Theatre, DeLand - The Brothers Grimm "go Broadway" as Sondheim and Lapine offer up a cockeyed fairy tale where all of your favorite characters - Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and The Witch - meet and interact on their journeys. With unforgettable roles, Into the Woods Junior showcases a medium-sized ensemble of talented singers and actors from Freedom Elementary's musical theater program. 386-736-1500 www.athenstheatre.org
May 14: Honeybees: Good for the Planet, Lyonia Environmental Learning Center, Deltona - The world's honeybee populations are declining significantly. Discover the facts about honeybees and beekeeping from a local beekeeper and learn how you can help native Florida pollinators survive at this free program. 386-789-7207 www.lyoniapreserve.com
May 14: Annual Business Expo, Victoria Gardens Clubhouse, DeLand - In addition to information about area businesses, there will be a Kid Zone hosted by the Junior Service League of DeLand, kids fingerprinting by the DeLand Police Department, a Pet Adopt-a-thon by ARK (Animal Rescue Konsortium), and a food drive by Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. 386-734-4331 www.delandchamber.com
May 14-15: Buckler's Craft Fair, Volusia County Fairgrounds, DeLand - Professional, award-winning craftspeople from across the country will exhibit and sell items such as country, Victorian, folk art, primitive, Southwestern, furniture, wood items, toys, dolls, bears, clothing, accessories, jewelry, gourmet delights, homemade fudge, Christmas items and much more! 386-734-9514 www.bucklercraftfair.com/deland
May 21: Lighthouses of the United States and Canada, DeBary Hall Historic Site, DeBary - Bob Callister, education coordinator at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, and retired educator John Mann will discuss North American lighthouses, sharing photos, stories, anecdotes and trivia. Light refreshments and lemonade will be offered before the presentation. 386-668-3840 www.debaryhall.com
May 26: Taste of West Volusia, Gateway Center for the Arts, DeBary - Patrons may enjoy cuisine from the West Volusia area's best restaurateurs, along with music and gift raffles at this inaugural event sponsored by the West Volusia Regional Chamber of Commerce. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. 386-574-0090 www.westvolusiachamber.org
May 27: Fourth Friday, Downtown DeLand - Mark your calendars to head downtown and take in all the fun Fourth Friday activities! The monthly street fair at Artisan Alley features groovy music as well as food, drinks, arts and crafts, and more for purchase. The DeLand Art Walk will highlight 18 venues each hosting artwork by Central Florida artists. What's more, you can enjoy all these activities on foursquare by checking in on your smartphone! (See Foursquare Friday above for more information.)
E - Green Springs Park, Enterprise - Look out over brilliant emerald waters at Green Springs Park in Enterprise, one of Florida's few remaining green sulfur springs. It was once the main attraction of the Brock House, one of Florida's first health spas. Today a trailhead for the Spring-to-Spring Trail, the 36-acre park features paved and natural surface paths, scenic overlooks, historical information markers, a playground, picnic pavilions and restrooms. 386-736-5953 www.volusia.org/parks/green.htm
C - Shoestring Theatre, Lake Helen - The 150-seat Shoestring Theatre is a remodeled historic school house, some say haunted by a young girl who was once a student there! All productions, including musicals, comedies and dramas are family-oriented, and produced and acted entirely by local talent. Don't miss "Butterflies Are Free," a comedy by Leonard Gershe this month at Shoestring. 386-228-3777 www.shoestringtheatre.net
H - Stetson Mansion, DeLand - Gather up a group of friends and family, and schedule a tour of the magnificent Stetson Mansion, once the winter home of famous hat manufacturer John B. Stetson and a founder of Stetson University. Its blend of Cottage, Gothic, Tudor, Moorish and Polynesian architectural details and magnificently decorated rooms inspire pure amazement. All tours are by appointment for groups of 12 or more. 386-490-2054 www.stetsonmansion.com
O - Volusia Speedway Park, Barberville - Fuel your passion for adventure and zoom out to Volusia Speedway this month for action-packed DIRTcar, sprint and late model racing. The South's finest, fastest and friendliest half-mile welcomes families, admitting kids 10 and under free with a paid adult. 386-985-4402 www.thevolusiaspeedway.com
STOP BY AND SEE US!!!
West Volusia Tourism Bureau & Visitor Center 116 W. New York Avenue, DeLand FL 32720 800-749-4350 386-734-0162 visitwestvolusia.com We also have a satellite visitor center at
DeBary Hall Historic Site 210 Sunrise Blvd., DeBary FL 32713 386-668-3840 386-736-5953 www.debaryhall.com