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Fossil & History Festival gave glimpse of Cape’s past

By Staff | Mar 27, 2011

For the second year in a row, the Fossil & History Festival gave young and old a chance to learn about the city’s past, and even take a piece of it home.
Hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, the festival was held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Rotary Park Environmental Center. It featured fossils, gems and Calusa Indian art, along with area artifacts, children’s activities and speakers.
“It’s just to let residents know what kind of things happened here back in the day,” Honey Archey, a recreational specialist with the city and the event organizer, said.
The Fossil Club of Lee County, Calusa Indians and “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge had booths set up, along with some vendors selling wares. There were about 12 booths total.
“We had a pretty good turnout,” Archey said.
“We had beautiful weather, so that always helps,” she added.
Cost of admission was $5 for adults. Children age 12 and under were free.
According to Archey, many in attendance were families or collectors.
Cape resident Summer Vick was one of them.
“I’ve collected rocks my whole life,” she said. “I’m really into geology.”
Vick explained that each rock represents a place and time.
“They’re little artifacts from all the places you’ve been,” she said.
Present with Vick was her friend, Joyce Prizevoits, also of Cape Coral.
Though not a collector, Prizevoits said she enjoyed learning about the history of the Calusa Indians and viewing their art reproductions.
“I like the historical aspects,” she said.
A booth featuring wood carvings also caught Prizevoits’ eye.
“That was interesting,” she said.
While Vick found a cherry opal quartz pendant to add to her collection, Prizevoits wished that the informational booths had had some historical paperback books for sale.
Inside the center, attendees could sit in on a mix of lectures.
Archey spoke on prehistoric elephants that used to roam the area and one of the city’s botanists, “Botany Bob,” talked about fossilized plants. Lifelong Cape resident Elmer Tabor and Paul Sanborn, from the city’s historical museum, also made presentations.
“We’re just trying to enlighten the community on the great history we have in Cape Coral,” Archey said.
Some children’s activities included a fossil dig and making a Calusa Indian mask.
Archey said the city plans to host the Fossil & History Festival next year.
“It’s probably going to be bigger,” she said, adding that there might be more vendors.
Last year, there were about seven vendor. Along with increasing vendor participation, the city also expanded on the focus of the event this year to include the historical aspect.