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Shell Factory to end year with Fossil Fest

By Staff | Dec 3, 2014

December is shaping up to be a busy one at the Shell Factory, with numerous visits from that jolly old man in a red suit and another festival to bring the kids out.

Santa started to make weekend visits to the Holiday House several weeks ago and will continue them throughout the season. He will speak with the children on Dec. 6-7, 14 and 20 from 10 a.m. until noon.

Santa will hold extended hours from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 22 and on Dec. 29 from 10 a.m. until noon for those who celebrate the holiday late or would like to make requests for next year.

You may want to mark your calendar on Sunday, when Santa will appear at the Nature Park from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be free admission for one adult and one child.

Last weekend, Santa took some lucky children out on the zip line with him.

On Saturday, the Shell Factory will hold another event it hopes will stay on an annual basis with the 10th annual Fossil Festival, which will occur from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is sponsored by the Lee County Fossil Club, which helped the Shell Factory put the fossil museum inside the store.

Pam Plummer, who is on the Fossil Club’s board, said the event moved from the Shriners because the building was being sold.

“We approached the Cronins and they were very excited to have us,” Plummer said. “We started working on the museum in February and it was completed a couple months ago.”

The fossil museum will feature fossil exhibits, a children’s dig, fossils and minerals for sale, a gemstone cutting and polishing demonstration, silent auctions, a grand raffle, music and more.

“There will also be a flint-knapping demonstration, which is the art of making Indian artifacts with the arrowheads of the spears,” Plummer said. “Anyone interested in Florida history should be here.”

Tupper said more than 50 fossil venders will be present for the indoor/outdoor event that will take over the Dolphin Room at Fishbone’s.

“It’s the first time we’ve held it. They usually draw a couple thousand people,” Tupper said. “We’re always looking for things to bring people in here and it’s educational to boot.”

Admission is $3, with children under 12 free.

From there the countdown is on for Gumbofest, the biggest event of the year, on Jan. 25.