Get Open air for the Wetumpka Wildlife Arts Pageant Saturday! – Elmore-Autauga Information


WETUMPKA – A day of sporting dog shows, a performance by a James Beard Award-winning chef, animal shows and more highlight Saturday’s activities at the inaugural Wetumpka Wildlife Arts Festival (WEWA).

The festival officially started on September 30th and will run until November 17th, but the all-day event on Saturday has something for everyone. Presented by the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery, known to locals as “The Kelly,” the celebrations begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and last until 4:00 p.m. on the banks of the Coosa River.

“Wetumpka is such a special place, and the inaugural Wetumpka Wildlife Arts Festival will showcase the city and provide unique experiences for each visitor,” said Thomas Harris, founder of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, whose family has a partnership with The Kelly and the City of Wetumpka has entered into founding WEWA. “It’s exciting to see the line-up for Saturday and we hope people come out and enjoy everything the festival has to offer.”

Here’s a look at Saturday’s schedule:

10-10:45 AM AND 1:40-2:25 PM: Wildrose Kennels Sporting Dog Demonstrations

Celebrating 50 years of continued service to the sporting dog enthusiast community, Wildrose Kennels is known for its British and Irish Labradors in North America, and its British Labradors are considered the most versatile sporting dogs in the world by wingshooters and adventurers.

10:55-11:40 AM AND 2:35-3:20 PM: Alabama Wildlife Federation Animal Show

AWF is the oldest and largest nonprofit conservation organization in Alabama and has over 25,000 members and supporters dedicated to AWF’s mission of preserving wildlife and related natural resources of Alabama through education, community engagement and boots-on -the- ground support. AWF will host live animal performances to continue its efforts through conservation education, resource conservation, and hunting and fishing heritage.

11:50am-12:35pm AND 3:30pm-4:00pm: Chris Hastings cooking demonstration

Premier Chef Chris Hastings is the owner and executive chef of The Hot and Hot Fish Club and The Ovenbird. He has over 25 years experience serving delicious food in the Birmingham area and is a James Beard Award winner. His cooking demonstrations will delight your taste buds and give you new ideas for your own kitchen.

12:45-1:30pm: David Foote Bird Carving Demonstration

Artist John David Foote has been carving wildlife – particularly birds – for almost 40 years, having first fallen in love with woodcarving at the age of 18. In 2015, he battled throat cancer and was on life support for three weeks, but as soon as he recovered from cancer and had enough strength to walk with a cane, he started carving again. His artwork has been shown at the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Audubon Society in Manhattan, and recently the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery. He is supposed to talk about his carvings and demonstrate his talent.

All Day: Kelly’s Kids will lead carnival games and art projects for children. There will be live music from the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and a variety of food vendors and food trucks will be on site.

An amazing and talented group of artisans and craftsmen will join WEWA to display and sell their work, including a Wood Duck House Building Activity hosted by the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association (ALBBAA).

“We are proud to partner with The Kelly and be a part of the first-ever Wetumpka Wildlife Arts Festival,” said ALBBAA Director Pam Swanner. “We encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy a day of family fun.”

The Wetumpka Wildlife Arts Festival is supported by the following sponsors: Smoot Harris Family, Alabama Power, Alabama RC&D Council, Alabama Wildlife Federation, Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, Chad Stearns Builder, Chambless Family Foundation, City of Wetumpka, LIV Development, Die Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery and the Whitetail Institute.

For more information, see:

The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is committed to promoting and enhancing the Black Belt’s outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities in ways that provide economic and environmental benefits to the region and its citizens. For more information, visit