From The Observer News (

Saturation Point
That Time Of Year
Aug 16, 2007, 11:32

I used to love this time of year because my parents would take me and my brother to the mall and we would get to pick out our brand new school clothes.  We picked out the hippest lunch boxes, the wildest colors for our pens and of course, the ever popular Trapper-Keeper. (I think I just dated myself.) 

It was the time of year when everyone was returning from their family vacations to the beach or the woods or the city; and we were all getting ready for the first day of school and the arrival of cooler fall weather.  With the arrival of school came the sad goodbyes to the freedom of summer and hello to the grind.  But before we actually got in the mix of our important stuff, there were so many festivals celebrating the change of seasons and the quiet end of the soothing summer breezes.

 It is no different now, even though I am older and don’t go through the back to school rituals of my youth.  I still enjoy traveling around to different events and festivals that highlight the arrival of fall months. For instance, the Florida Aquarium located in downtown Tampa is having a special back to school member’s night on Friday, Aug. 17.  On Sept. 17, they will be hosting their annual Surf & Turf Golf Classic which benefits the Florida Aquarium’s Teacher Education Program.  It sells out fast, so if you are interested in golfing for a cause, check out the details at

 Lowry Park Zoo is celebrating by offering visitors a huge discount on Sunday, Sept. 9.  The admission fee is only $3!  On Saturday, Sept. 22 they are hosting the annual Zoo Run Run, a 5K run that takes you through the zoo and along the Hillsborough River.  I am not much of a runner, so I might just be mixed in with the kids portion of the event which is a 5K “Fun Run” that follows behind the runners.  Plus, you get admission to the zoo all day when you register and if you register early, you might even get a special t-shirt.  If you are into the gardening scene, the zoo is offering a chance for you to pick up some really great fertilizer—Zoo Poo.  According to their Web site, Zoo Poo is a composted mixture of animal droppings mixed with straw bedding and hardwood chips.  It is made from the plant eating animals such as elephants, rhino, bison, giraffe and zebras! You have to get there early because it goes quick—Saturday at noon, it is $1 per gallon and cash and checks only.  For more information visit

 Because it is so close to my house, I always tend to stop by Brooker Creek Preserve on World Rivers Day FEST.  This year, the celebration and festival will be held on Sept. 29 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  There will be food, tours, encounters with naturalists and all kinds of fun stuff to get you motivated about the environment.  For more information about this event visit

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