Biggest Birdie Fest Ever Held; Enormous Bird Rescue Effort Takes Flight in Georgia
Parrot lovers across the nation have something to squawk about this Memorial Day weekend. They're preparing for the largest bird festival ever held. Birdie Stock will have visitors cooing and cawing over nationally sanctioned bird shows, live musicians, and rescued pets.
(PRWEB) April 16, 2006 -- Thousands of Parrot lovers will descend upon the historic town of Harlem, Georgia this Memorial Day. Previously this obscure community had just one major claim to fame as the birthplace of Oliver Hardy, famous for the comedy duo Laurel & Hardy.
"Birds arrive at our sanctuary daily from states as far away as Alaska," says Ronald Johnson who is rapidly putting a sleepy-eyed community on the map. "Some birds are rescued from abusive homes, others are staying temporarily while their owners are deployed to fight the war in Iraq."
The idea for a refuge came to Johnson as a young Marine recruit when he searched dishearteningly for a home for his pet parrots. Today Johnson and his wife each work 12 hours per day, 365 days a year, without pay, just hoping to save birds in need.
"Birds are the third most common pet in the U.S., but it seems like cats and dogs get all of the rescue attention," says Johnson who is known as the Bird Whisperer, because he regularly heals birds deemed terminal by vets and rejected from other rescue facilities. “Hopefully the opening of our expanded 8-acre parrot park is helping to change that.”
About 15,000 parrot lovers are expected to attend Biridie Stock a four-day festival, which is planned for May 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th. Two nationally sanctioned bird shows are drawing the majority of attendees from a variety of states, including: Texas, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas. However, entry to the park is just $15 dollars per day, and with more than 40 hours of live music already in the works, the crowds will boom.
"I can't wait to get there and rock out," says Florida resident Ryan McCloskey who is planning to drive to the charity event.
Artists like former Spiritual Writer of the Year Lisa Firestone, last years' Dixie Dreg Best Band winner Knowface, Diva Tribute artist Joanna Maddox, the R&B group Twin Towers, and many others are slated to perform. Meanwhile, Fortune 500 companies, wild comedians like "Pony-Horse of a Different Color", and semi-pro wrestlers are donating resources and time to make the event successful.
"We're just hoping all of this attention helps the birds," says Johnson about the event. "Usually when people hear about us we get a huge influx of birds but no money to feed and shelter them!"
Feathered Friends Forever is already housing almost 500 birds. 47 of them are from the endangered species list. In addition, the rescue serves as the official retirement center located in the USA for Amazon Parrots backed and sponsored by the Amazona Society (the international group dedicated to the welfare of Amazons).
To purchase tickets to Birdie Stock or to read more about the activities, please go to http://www.featheredfriendsforever.org