The Little Owl Festival that got its start last year at Audubon Acres' main campus in East Brainerd is returning this year with more vendors, kids activities, musicians and fun.
"One of the biggest things the festival has going for it is that it's a little bit of everything," said sanctuary manager Kyle Simpson. "Whether you're into the music, the arts or the birds, there's something for everyone."
In addition to a wide variety of arts and crafts vendors and performance artists including Roger Alan Wade, this year's event will feature tours of Spring Frog Cabin which was built in the early 1700s, an apple press, a corn stripping machine, a lye making demonstration, a petting zoo, a family photo opportunity, face painting and other kids' activities.
Elijay, Ga., resident Stephen Thomas will be on hand dressed as an 1812 militia man complete with a long rifle. He will offer demonstrations and provide information about the War of 1812.
"We are looking forward to seeing everyone in the community come out and celebrate because this is a festival for the community," said Little Owl festival chairwoman Tina Terrell. "We're looking forward to seeing new faces that will stay with us all year."
Admission to the March 23 festival costs $7 per person or $15 per carload of people.
Anyone who attends the festival can put that admission cost toward a Chattanooga Audubon Society membership, which gives people unlimited access to any of the sanctuary's three properties for free throughout the year and discounts to other classes and events the Chattanooga Audubon Society hosts. One such event coming up March 16 is a sasafrass root class where anyone can come to the sanctuary, help find sasafrass roots and learn how to make tea from the root for a small fee.
"We're hoping to expand our calendar of events this year and we can do that through funds from events like Little Owl," said Terrell. "We want to be here for the community and we ask for support because it's all funded through donations and volunteers."
The chairwoman said the festival is still looking for businesses, organizations or people to help sponsor the event that drew more than 1,500 people to Audubon Acres and is expected to draw even more people this year.
For more information, visit www.chattanoogaaudubon.org or call 892-1499.