Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weeki Wachee - City of Mermaids

Have you ever wondered if Mermaids are real?  Well for those skeptics who say they don't exist - welcome to Weeki Wachee, a place that proves there really are Mermaids.

Mermaids, also known as Sirens, are mythical creatures who's top half is a woman and bottom half is a fish.  One of their greatest talents is that they are able to breathe both in and out of the water which makes them all the more elusive & mysterious to humans.  They are known for falling in love with handsome men, and pulling them beneath the water, to live with them under the sea.  

Some cultures feel mermaids bring good luck and it is said, if you help return a lost mermaid to the sea, she will grant you a wish.  It's also common folklore, that if you anger a mermaid, she will seek vengeance with storms, floods and tidal waves.

So welcome to Weeki Wachee, a City of Mermaids, the world's only enchanted springs, located on the Gulf Coast of Florida.  The spring is so deep, the bottom has never been found.  Each day, 117 million gallons of 72 degree, fresh spring water surges out of the cavernous bottom.  This fabulous place opened in 1946 and is one of Florida's most historic roadside attractions.  It hit it's stride in 1959, and became one of the country's most popular tourist attractions and women would come from all over the world for the privilege to audition as one of the Weeki Mermaids. 

One of most fabulous things about Weeki Wachee is that it has transcended time and is still a popular attraction - with modern day Mermaids.  It's so wonderful to see how something that began in 1946, with a 16 seat theatre can sustain itself and maintain it's originality and appeal to people who visit from all over the world.  

So 64 years's proof that Mermaids really do exist...... 

A color brochure from the early years

Mermaids from 1947

Love this shot - you can see the hose she used to breathe.  
This was revolutionary at that time.

Elvis visited while filming "Follow that Dream"
Love The King's smile

Photographs from brochures
 in the early years

Modern Day Mermaids

Is that a whale?  No - it's Larry the Cable Guy - swimming with the Mermaids in April 2010

Somehow - I don't think he is going to be a permanent Mermaid

I'm linking this up to It's a Blog Party Favorite Saturdays!


Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

I remember the mermaids very well. I grew up not far away. They always seemed magical to me when I was little.

NanaDiana said...

Oh! I saw that show so many times back in the 1970's! Once we sat next to a man that made constant, awful, rude remarks (quite loudly) and there were kids with us. I should have told him to be quiet but didn't have the guts back then that I have today (you can take that literally too) When we left he was outside having his picture taken on one of the statues and he was in a "nursing" position. Yeah-Nice Guy!!!

I don't know if you get The Daily Buzz morning news show there- but Mitch (one of the main news casters) is married to one of the red-headed mermaids. Fun blog today! Diana

Marie said...

Fantastic!!! I love it...didn't know this place existed, thanks to you. I love mermaids and I do believe in them :)

Everything Coastal said...

Very very fun! Have never been - but have read so many stories about this place. Thanks for sharing, hope you don't mind, but I am sharing also on my fb page!


Beach House Living said...

There was a t.v. show about them. I was in heaven and thought how neat it would be to be one of them. I think it's what started my adoration of mermaids but, I'm really picky about how they should look. I don't like the fantasy or modern versions...we have some in the garden of course.

Kaybe said...

Believe it or not my mom was going to be a Weeki Wachee mermaid. They scouted her from her Clearwater High School in 1955. Mom went up and gave it a try and loved it. Her dad (my Grandpa) made her quit because "Only hussies are mermaids".

I remember the Weeki Wachee River as a teen. We would drive up & tube down the river. You got on the river about a 1/2 mile from the attraction. That water was so cold and crystal clear. We would see otters, birds, & the occasional reptile as we drifted down the river and ended a few miles downstream at a little park on SR 50 that is still there. Those were some good times. It is still a fun place to visit.

Drawn to The Sea said...

Wonderful post! Wonderful comments, too. Kaybe's grandpa saying "Only hussies are mermaids." ~ how funny!

There used to be a little mermaid show in San Marcos, Texas at Aquarena Springs. Not as grand as Weeki Wachee, but so much fun.

Pleasant day!
Mermaid Julia~

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I loved reading about this place on your blog. I never knew it existed. I enjoyed all of the old images too, and being a big fan of Elvis, I know that movie well :-)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This is so interesting! We have a home nearby but have never been to see the mermaids! Love hearing all the history! Thanks! ♥

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Ok, how on earth did I ever miss this post!?! I am so glad I was scrolling down your blog tonight. This is wonderful and fascinating.
I love this! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful bit of history. Love it!