31st annual, FossilFest 2018 – The Ice Age Returns!

TAMPA, FLORIDA, February 10, 2018 - In Florida’s last Ice Age, prehistoric people hunted mammoths, built pyramids along Florida’s coast, and lived in fear of the saber cat, giant lion, and wolf.  On March 10th and 11th, the Florida State Fairgrounds will go back in time to a different place, a different Florida, a land long lost.  The Tampa Bay Fossil Club presents the 31st annual, FossilFest 2018 – The Ice Age Returns!

FossilFest is Florida’s largest prehistoric show where the public can view amazing fossils that were found right here in Florida, as well as, artifacts left behind by Florida’s first people.  FossilFest features educational activities for both children and adults designed to teach the public about Florida’s exciting prehistoric past.  A time when saber-toothed cats, giant wolves, sharks as big as school buses, and prehistoric Indians ruled Florida’s peninsula.  Also on display will be gems, minerals, fossil shells, and antique bottles.  Vendors will be on hand to sell and trade fossils found both here in Florida, and all over the world.

“Our goal is to teach Floridians about the prehistoric creatures and people that were here long before us,” says club president Mike Searle.  “You don’t have travel to far-away exotic places to find these fossils.  Mammoths, wolves, camels, and rhinos lived right here where we live today.  Their fossilized remains are everywhere in Florida”, says Searle.

On both Saturday and Sunday there will be free workshops to teach folks how they can legally hunt for fossils in Florida and how to identify and preserve what they find.

A highlight of FossilFest is the children's Fossil Mine at Paleo Park.  For a small fee kids can dig through a sand pit to recover actual prehistoric fossils donated by members of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club.  Then, at the "Learning Table," they sit down with a club member who will identify and explain their new treasures.  The children keep all the fossils they find!

“It’s a wonderful “hands-on” learning experience,” says Club member and Hillsborough County schoolteacher, Patrick McGirk.  “You just can’t believe how excited these kids get over finding fossils.  They don’t even realize how much they’re learning!”

There will be free door prizes, kid’s games, silent auctions, and raffles throughout the weekend.

“So many people these days are hooked on the Discovery and History Channels, and now these treasure hunting shows. That’s what we’re all about,” says Dr. Bob Sinibaldi, a former Pinellas County “Teacher of the Year” winner.  “FossilFest will appeal to anyone who enjoys documentary TV, loves science and nature, or has an interest in history and outdoor adventure”, says Sinibald The Tampa Bay Fossil Club is a family-oriented organization focusing on paleontology, archaeology, and everything prehistoric.  Meetings are held monthly at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus and features prominent speakers from many areas of science.  The Tampa Bay Fossil Club awards annual scholarships to students studying in the field of paleontology and geology.  The 31-year-old club hosts numerous field trips, camp outs, gatherings, and adventures throughout its September through May season.

The Ice Age returns to Florida!

Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Special Events Center

When:                  March 10 & 11, 2018

Time:                     Saturday - 9AM until 5PM, Sunday - 10AM until 4PM

Admission:          $8.00 for adults, children 12 and under admitted free.

Contact:               Michael Searle, (813) 909-9358, Cell (813) 300-6129 - fossilnerd@msn.com

Web Site:            www.tampabayfossilclub.com and on Facebook

Members of the media can take a “sneak peek” of FossilFest on Friday evening, March 9th.  Interview and photographic opportunities can be arranged with fossil hunters of all ages, from all over Florida.

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