By Linda Farneth
Early Bird discount tickets to the Downtown Colonial Beach Osprey Festival are now available at two locations, the Beach Shop on the boardwalk and Coldwell Banker on Washington Ave.
More locations are becoming available daily. The discounted tickets of $10 for an "Osprey" ticket (single adult) and $15 for a "Full Nest," (a couple or family with children) can only be purchased by check or cash locally through March 31.
Downtown Colonial Beach is planning a new festival, one they hope will be appealing to everyone and will stand the test of time and become a lasting tradition.
Carl Thor announced at the January Council meeting, that DCB is organizing the First Annual Osprey Festival. “We have every other kind of festival, we don't have an Osprey Festival.”
Colonial Beach has been home to a growing number of Osprey over the years. By adding nesting platforms throughout the town along the water ways and on buoys, the town has managed to attract many new birds of prey including Bald Eagles.
Thor said, “There are a lot of people out there who are interested in birds and we are a bird sanctuary. There are a lot of unusual birds around here...and that is not a pun, that is the flying creatures.”
The core of the Osprey Festival will occur Saturday, April 13, when tickets will cover guide-led bird walks, bird talks and both bus and golf cart tours of the osprey nests around town.
There will also be bird and wildlife exhibits and children's activities on Town Hill, a scavenger hunt with prizes for bird-related items in local retail shops, and a native plant sale and talk on creating a backyard habitat for the birds at Rankin's Hardware, all of which are open to everyone.
In April the town's Second Friday Art Walk will feature bird-themed art, music and "Cock" tail hours at venues throughout town all weekend.
There will be a "Grand Ole O'spry” Concert at Dockside Restaurant and Tiki Bar Saturday night, and bird tours and activities at nearby state parks and historic sites on Sunday,
Joyce Reimherr, newly named President of DCB said, “Colonial Beach will be the hub of a three-day showcase of our Ospreys and abundant natural and historic resources for visitors from throughout the region.”
You may purchase tickets online at the regular cost of $15 for a single admission or $20 for couple or family, at the Downtown Colonial Beach website (www.downtowncolonialbeach.org).
Downtown Colonial Beach, Inc., is holding the festival to raise funds for revitalizing the town's downtown and commercial core. As a "VA Main Street," affiliate, Downtown Colonial Beach emphasizes preserving the town's historic assets and small town character to spur economic development, a strategy proven successful by the Main Street programs in small towns and neighborhoods across the country.
Osprey are large birds of prey that live mostly on fish, but have been known to hunt small mammals. They nest high up near water and often adjust well to man-made platforms securely placed atop telephone poles or on top of buoy markers out in the river.
To learn more about Osprey check out these 21 facts about Osprey from livingwithbirds.com.