About Florida: 65 years of mermaids



Mermaid Carli (credit: John Athanason)

Mermaid Carli (credit: John Athanason)

Florida Vacation Guide: see the mermaid reunion at Weeki Wachee during your holidays

Since the first show at Weeki Wachee on October 13, 1947, the mermaid lore came to life in Florida. For more than 65 years, the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park have performed underwater for millions of spectators. To commemorate the anniversary and inaugurate the Weeki Wachee Hall of Fame, a mermaid reunion is taking place on July 14th and July 15th, 2012 with current and former mermaids swimming together in a special performances that represent decades from the 40′s right up to the 70′s.  Mermaids from all six decades, will be in the park to greet guest and sign autographs.

The history

In its heyday, when the springs were owned by ABC, mermaids were in 8 sold out shows each day and girls would fly in from as far as Tokyo to try out for an underwater role. There were even mermaid cottages behind the attraction where some of the performers lived.

Mermaid Barb Wynns (credit: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park)

Mermaid Barb Wynns (credit: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park)

The Reunion

Although there are private events for the mermaids, following are public events for Saturday and Sunday:
  • 9 a.m. -10 a.m.  - autograph signings by former mermaids
  • 10 a.m. – performance of the Little Mermaid
  • 12 p.m.  - Sorority of Sirens Show (65th Anniversary special)
  • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. autograph signings by current mermaids
  • 1:30 p.m. – Mermaids of Yesteryear
  • 3 p.m. –  Sorority of Sirens Show (65th Anniversary special)

Weeki Wachee Springs “Hall of Fame”

During these two days, past performers will also get into the  “Hall of Fame”.

This is the inaugural year for a “Hall of Fame” at Weeki Wachee Springs, and the founder of the famed attraction, the late Newton Perry, will be inducted in the underwater theater at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday. Other inductees are Ricou Browning, best known for his underwater role in the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Ginger Stanley who played the underwater double in the same film – both began their careers as underwater performers at Weeki Wachee Springs. Several of the Aqua Belles are also being inducted – they were first women performers at the park in 1947.

Tell us…

Do you believe in mermaids?