(LINTON)- The Sandhill Cranes and other variety of geese have arrived at Goose Pone Fish and Wildlife Area and the Greene-Sullivan State Forest properties just in time for the 5th Annual Marsh Madness Festival in Linton.
The Greene County Daily News reports that the event kicks off Friday night.
Assistant Property Manager at Goose Pond Travis Stoelting, says about 10,000 Sandhill Cranes are now on the property and the numbers could increase before the weekend.
Aside from Sandhill Cranes, visitors can expect to see Snow Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, Northern Pintails and American White Pelicans.
Event chairman Bruce Moore, from Linton, also says things are coming together for a great festival, which begins Friday night with a banquest at the Linton Elks Lodge and continues all day on Saturday at Humprhreys Park in Linton, at the Roy Clark Community Building and at the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area.
The event runs 6 to 10 p.m. and will feature music by Kade Puckett, dinner and a cash bar. The dinner, which begins at 7 p.m., will feature a menu of roast beef, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and cobbler for desert.
Cost is $25 per person. Tickets available online.
The keynote speaker will be Bob Russell, Region 3 Migratory Bird Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The dinner will also feature a live and silent Auction. The silent auction will be on going from 6 p.m.
Silent Auction ongoing from 6 p.m. Live Auction with Monty and Stephanie McKim, Auctioneering, follows dinner.
An addition to the festival on Saturday will be a bird banding demonstration that will take place in the field near the Roy Clark Community Center. The demonstration will be offered throughout the day, Moore said.
A new addition this year will be a reptile presentation by Wabash Valley Herpetological Society at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Roy Clark Community Building.
One of the popular events ---- the Birds of Prey Presentation by Hardy Lake Raptors will be featured at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Roy Clark Community Building. This will be a chance to get an up-close view of a bald eagle, several owls and other raptors.
Another new addition will be the showing of "Goose Pond: The Story of a Wetland and Its Neighbors," an award-winning documentary film by Linton native Bill Barnes. The movie will be presented at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Scout Cabin at Humphrey's Park.
A retriever dog demonstration, which was canceled last year due to cold weather, will take place this year. The demonstration will be at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and will be at the Field D Parking Lot, located on County Road 400 S. and will be conducted by Josh Ward of OFE Retrievers.
A variety of exhibitors will be set up in the Roy Clark Community Building from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Admission will be $5 a person or a family of three to five will be admitted for $15.
In the West Cabin at Humphreys Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, there will be Kids' Activities, including birdhouse construction, picture coloring and handouts.
The women of the Linton United Methodist Church will serve lunch at the Roy Clark Community Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Moore said he's amazed at migratory trends of the birds and how it works out that they arrive in the Linton area just in time for the festival.
"You schedule this event a year in advance and you take your chances (on the birds), but the experts this us this is the weekend," he stressed.
Peabody Energy is a major corporate donor sponsor for this year's Marsh Madnessevent at the Great Egret Patron level ($2500 - $4999). Greene County General Hospital is at the Roseate Spoonvill Patron level ($1000 - $2499). McDonalds of Linton and Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC are supporting the festival at the Whooping Crane Conservator level. ($500 - $999).
5th Annual Greene County Marsh Madness Festival
Schedule of Events
Note: All venues are within Humprey's Park in Linton, unless noted.
Friday, February 28
Venue: Linton Elks Lodge
6 p.m. - 10 p.m. - Marsh Madness Peabody Energy Kick-off Banquet. Keynote Speaker: Bob Russell, Region 3 Migratory Bird Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Live and Silent Auction. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m. Silent Auction ongoing from 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 1
Tickets available at the door. $5 per person, or $15 per family of up to 5 persons.
Venue: Roy Clark Community Center, Humphrey's Park
- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. -- Art & Craft Fair Exhibits are open
- 10-10:45 a.m. -- Birds of Prey Presentation by Hardy Lake Raptors.
- 11-11:45 a.m. -- Living Snakes presentation by Wabash Valley Herpetological Society.
- 11 a.m.-1 p.m. -- Lunch Available, served by Linton First United Methodist Church
- 2-2:45 p.m. -- Birds of Prey Presentation by Hardy Lake Raptors.
- 3-3:45 p.m. -- Living Snakes Presentation by Wabash Valley Herpetological Society.
- Venue: Scout Cabin, Humphrey's Park
- 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. -- Showing of "Goose Pond: The Story of a Wetland and Its Neighbors," a film by Linton native Bill Barnes.
- Venue: East Cabin, Humphrey's Park
- 7:30 a.m. - 6:15 p.m. Guided Bus Tours of Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife. Bus 1 sponsored by Bloomfield State Bank
- 7:30 a.m. - 6:15 p.m. Self-guided tours (maps available)
- 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Exhibitors, including Pam Kinneman, Fiber Arts
- Venue: West Cabin, Humphrey's Park
- 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Kids' Activities - Includes birdhouse construction, picture coloring, handouts and other activities
Venue: Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center
- 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.. Featured artist: Trudy Calvert, Bloomington, TLC Creations: Art from the Heart
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