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Celebrate coffee and manatees at the South Florida Museum

What goes better with birthday cake than a nice cup of coffee? At the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, you can enjoy both as Snooty’s 66th Birthday Bash, Arts and Wildlife Awareness Festival takes place on Saturday, July 19. Students entering preschool-6th grade are encouraged to submit a birthday card for Snooty for the chance to win great prizes. Birthday cards will be judged for creativity and originality… so have fun!

Every cup of coffee we buy and drink connects us with a web of hidden stories around the world.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

“More than 200 children submitted cards last year for Snooty’s record-breaking 65th Birthday – and this year Snooty has set an even higher benchmark for how long manatees can live by reaching 66 years old! Every day he’s with us, we learn more about manatees and he shows us how long it is possible for these incredible animals to live," said the Museum’s Director of Living Collections Marilyn Margold, who cares for Snooty and the rehab manatees and marine life in the Museum’s care. "We want to invite kids from around the country – and all over the world – to celebrate Snooty’s life by wishing him a happy birthday and participating in the contest.”

All submissions are due by Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 5 pm. There will also be a special opportunity to create or turn in birthday cards for Snooty at the “¡Nemo y Amigos!” Family Night event on Saturday, July 5 from 4 – 8 pm. There will be a “Birthday Card Station” where families can make cards or turn in the cards they have already made.

First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in to the top cards in each of four age categories immediately following the crowd serenading Snooty with “The Birthday Song” at noon during Snooty’s 66th Birthday Bash on Saturday, July 19, 2014. Awards will be announced and prizes distributed in the Museum’s Spanish Plaza. To be judged, all entries must include an entry form with name, home address, telephone number, age and child’s school grade (2014– 2015).

Entry forms can be picked up at the Museum (201 10th Street W, Bradenton, FL 34205) or online at Call 941-746-4131, ext. 30 for more information.

“The Annual Birthday Card Contest helps the Museum to engage Snooty’s followers and fans locally, but also those who follow him from afar! Last year alone, Snooty received cards from people and places as far-reaching as Ms. Santa Maria's class in New York state and from a family in the Netherlands,” Margold added. “While we also love receiving greetings through videos, photos and messages on Facebook and online, there is something special about the care and emotion that goes into these handmade cards. Multiple generations of families have wished Snooty a ‘Happy Birthday’ in this same way, which is a tribute to his longevity and his special connection to people.”

Admission to the outdoor Birthday Bash in the Spanish Plaza and on 10th Street will be FREE, while General Admission to the Museum’s indoor Galleries, Aquarium, and Planetarium is half priced for the day! All attendees to the Festival will have the opportunity to say hello to Snooty in the Spanish Plaza’s underwater view of the manatee pool – and sing him “Happy Birthday” at noon.

While you're exploring the museum, you can find out the true story behind one of the world’s most widely traded commodities. Coffee: The World in Your Cup is a nationally touring exhibition now on view in Bradenton. The exhibition provides a broad overview of the powerful influence of coffee on environments, human cultures, and economies worldwide. On exhibit in the Museum’s East Gallery May 27 through August 29, 2014, the exhibition is included in Museum daily admission.

Highlights of Coffee: The World in Your Cup include color photographs of farms from South America to Africa to the Pacific Islands that tell the global story of coffee cultivation and trade, four short videos featuring different aspects of the coffee industry, including a look at migratory birds in shade grown coffee regions, and interpretive displays of traditional Turkish and Ethiopian coffee sets, picking baskets, and more than 40 coffee sacks from around the world.

Coffee: The World in Your Cup has been organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle. Major sponsorship has been provided by The Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation, Starbucks Coffee Company, and the University of Washington.

General admission prices are: Adults - $18, Seniors (65+) - $16, Children (4-12) - $14, Children under 3 are free when accompanied by a paying adult. (Museum members are also free.)

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