Photos and Story by Elizabeth Juengling/Contributing Writer
Outdoor Murfreesboro celebrated hummingbirds and wished them a safe migration at their annual Hummingbird Festival at Barfield Crescent Park on Sept. 7.
Families and individuals from the greater Murfreesboro area gathered at the Barfield Crescent Wilderness Station for food, vendors, scavenger hunts, crafts, educational talks and most importantly, hummingbirds.
Outdoor Murfreesboro, a part of Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation, takes hummingbird migration very seriously. Early in the morning, before the event officially started, visitors got to see some hummingbirds up close and personal.
Mark Armstrong, an official bird bander, was catching hummingbirds and putting an identification band on each of them. These bands help researchers identify where hummingbirds have been and if they return to the same area.
Megan Bass, the event programmer, said, “The Hummingbird Festival is a chance for people to really understand what the hummingbirds do and how far they really travel.” Bass said they also use the event to spread information about how to properly take care of hummingbirds.
Bass went on to explain that the festival is a great chance for vendors to share and sell their wares. The crafted goods included stained glass, candles, plants, produce, bird statues, and hand-painted hummingbird feeders. Zander’s Woodfired Pizza was also there selling pizza and ice cream.
Hummingbird feeders were set up on the porch of the Wilderness Station so patrons could get up close and personal with the small birds. Many people enjoyed watching the ever-moving birds and listening to their chirps.
Marjie Sanderson, owner of the Tennessee Candle Company and a Kenton, Tennessee resident, was very excited to be at the event. She was invited to come because they already sell her candles and wax melts in the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation welcome centers and wilderness stations.
Wendy Fry of Brady’s Hummingbird Hangouts had a special connection to the festival. She was selling beautiful hand-painted hummingbird feeders. She said that she originally got into the business when her son, Brady, founded it in seventh grade to earn his own money. Brady Fry is now a sophomore in college, but Wendy continues his tradition.
Fry said she “likes to be able to share something bright and colorful with people so they can enjoy hummingbirds like she does.”
For the crafts, children were able to “band” themselves just like Armstrong did with the hummingbirds. They also had empty toilet paper rolls to create bird-watching binoculars and tissue paper to make beautiful flowers for the birds.
Barfield Crescent park was the perfect place to display the Murfreesboro community’s passion for the noble hummingbird, with a festival that genuinely brought people together.
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