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St. Augustine Alligator Farm Hosts Inaugural Croctoberfest Beer and Food Event, Sept. 28

[Ed. Note, 10/3/2018: see the recap with photos on the homepage!]

September 24, 2018: The St. Augustine Alligator Farm always provides guests with an exciting visit, with resident reptiles and exotic animal species roaming the grounds. For those who time it right, there's also the chance to view feedings. All in all, it's a pretty wild time, with educational overtones.  The Alligator Farm adds a new level of animal behavior, with its first "Croctoberfest," on Friday evening, September 28, 6-9pm. This "brew-at-the-zoo" event brings beer, food, and spirits together for the season of Oktoberfest and Fall with a catchy name and some crafty inhabitants. 

The concept began over a year ago during a staff meeting, says Trevor Mia, of the Zoo Education Department, with "Croctoberfest" being a logical name for this time of year. "We wanted to host a social event where the proceeds go towards a great use and cause." Croctoberfest is a partnership with Riverbanks Zoo of Columbia, South Carolina, and the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group to help support the Malayan Gharial conservation (if you don't know what that is, you can find out at Croctoberfest). Part of the proceeds are also designed to jump start youth engagement in conservation programs in St Augustine. Participating conservation organizations include: IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group, Riverbanks Zoo, Crocodilian Conservation Center of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Audubon Society, The Rattlesnake Conservancy, GTM Research Reserve, Lubee Bat Conservancy, and Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience.

"At the end of the night, we hope that guests will have an appreciation for what their local conservation organizations are doing in their own backyard," Trevor adds. 


Croctoberfest will take place in three main sections of the Alligator Farm: Alligator Lagoon, Oasis of the Nile, and The Great Down Under, and, the entire Zoo will also be open for a unique night-time experience. The Zoo is also known for wildlife photo ops, and guests are welcome to visit the Native Swamp/Rookery area to snap sunset photos. Over 25 vendors, from breweries, restaurants, distilleries, to conservation organizations, will dot the center landscape, while attendees wander through the grounds to chat with the nature groups and beer/distillery reps. Because most of the Zoo creatures are "crepuscular" (active during sunrise/sunset hours), says Trevor, be on the lookout for nocturnal resident activities, such as communicating lemurs,  roosting birds in the rookery, and curious crocodilians. Near the end of the event, a Zoo staff member will conduct a feeding with the American Alligators in the Alligator Lagoon.  

All of this, and beer, too? 

Participating beverage vendors include: Bog Brewing, Ancient City Brewing, Old Coast Ales, Dog Rose Brewing, Bold City Brewery, Ruby Beach Brewing, Veterans United Craft Brewery, Atlantic Beach Brewing, Wicked Barley Brewing, Tampa Bay Brewing, Central 28 Beer, Darwin Brewing, Intuition Ale Works, St. Augustine Distillery, and Madi Rum. In addition, food will be provided by Meehan's Irish Pub, Mojo Old City BBQ, Tijuana Flats, and The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops. The ticket price includes a 5 oz. souvenir tasting glass, together with beverage and food samples. Local band Funk Butter, a funk jam band, will have the tunes going through the night. 

The Alligator Farm is located at 999 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine. Just look for the large replica alligator out in the front (another photo op, if you haven't been there yet). 

Tickets are available online HERE

If you like nature and conservation -- and, beer -- spend the night with the creatures (of all kinds) at the Alligator Farm on September 28! 

The Alligator Farm houses a number of animal species that I had not heard of before my first visit there several years ago. Every evening, the onsite rookery provides a nighttime habitat for a number of local bird species, including herons, egrets and spoonbills high up in the trees, while the large reptiles swim and wade below. It's also a nesting area, as the eggs are protected from four-legged predators who don't want to tangle with the gators. If you ever pass by the Alligator Farm close to sunset, the birds are visible at the tops of the trees from the street. The inaugural Croctoberfest promises to be a wild time! 

Cheers!

Til next time, 













Linda
Linda Johnson, 
Certified Cicerone®

www.brewnymph.com


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