Weeki Wachee: City of Mermaids

Presented By Lu Vickers

When Newt Perry sank a theater into the edge of Weeki Wachee Spring in 1947 and filled the water with cavorting mermaids, he probably had no idea that the mermaids would become world famous icons, representing the craziness of the Sunshine State. Lu Vickers’ presentation of Weeki Wachee: City of Mermaids will cover the history of Weeki Wachee from its very beginnings and will show how Perry developed his dream of underwater performances at Silver Springs and Wakulla before heading to the East coast of Florida to launch his own attraction. The talk will feature vintage photographs of the mermaids from their earliest days performing silent ballets to the heyday when ABC built them a million dollar theater. The talk will show how the mermaids managed to survive Disney World to become one of Florida’s most unique state parks.

Lu Vickers is the author of one novel and several books on Florida history, including Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids, and Cypress Gardens: America’s Tropical Wonderland.  She has also received three Individual Artists Grants from Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs for fiction.  In 2014, as she was in the final stages of editing her latest book, Remembering Paradise Park: Tourism and Segregation at Silver Springs, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for excerpts from a novel in progress.

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Lu Vickers