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Bat Festival

By Michele Robertson The last weekend of October is a big one. With Halloween on Sunday, there are many festivals and events planned over the weekend in celebration of the holiday. A new one for Carlsbad to experience is the Cavern City Bat Flight & Fest, happening on Saturday October 30th from 2-6 pm at the beach bandshell. The event is being organized by Creative Carlsbad and Carlsbad First Assembly, sponsored by the City of Carlsbad, Intrepid, and Sleep Inn, with support from Eddy County Lodger’s Tax. Creative Carlsbad, an Arts Council, is a non-profit organization formed by local individuals with a goal of developing a wide membership throughout the City whose purpose is advocating for the arts. Dianne Joop, president of the Creative Carlsbad arts council shared details for the upcoming event. There will be the Bat Flight which is a 5-K run at 2:30 pm, a batty fashion show at 4 pm, trick or treat at the beach from 5-6pm or while supplies last, and music from the band The Get Down. Bats serve an essential role in our ecosystem and each year from October 24-31 bats get their own time of recognition during the international Bat Week. Carlsbad is home to several species of bats from March -October, most notably the Mexican Free-tailed bat. Drawing attention to the importance of bats to healthy ecosystems, and the need for clean and accessible ground water for all, the 5-K run is doing double duty; to raise awareness and is a themed run. Some women and children in sub-Saharan Africa walk 5k to gather water needed for crops and their families, often more than once per day. Get decked out and wear your best bat costume as this race is also a costume contest with prizes awarded for best bat costume. 100% of the proceeds from this run/costume contest will go towards building water wells in East Africa and groundwater and bat conservation in the United States. The registration fee is equal to the cost of providing one person clean water for life in Africa. The Creative Carlsbad and Carlsbad First Assembly Facebook pages have a link for registering or you can go to batty fashion show encourages people to ‘Go Batty for Fashion,’ and to develop the best bat inspired outfit you can and show it off on the runway. Prizes will be awarded for Best Bat in categories: 10 and under, 11-18, 19 and over, most festive bat, crowd favorite, and best-in-show. Dave Foster, a singer/songwriter and President/CEO of the American Cave Conservation Association will be in attendance with his cover band The Get Down. Foster will also be performing his award winning cave ballads from his album The Nylon Highway. “I’ve done many, many shows with the band, given cave conservation talks, and performed cave ballads, but this will be the first time I combine all three hats into one event,” Foster shared. Based out of Kentucky, The Get Down will perform 70’s rock and dance music. As the president of the American Cave Conservation Association Foster shared that he is interested in fostering ties and doing “what we can to benefit caves.” Carlsbad’s landscape is a

karst environment with many caves, some incredibly popular, some not well known, and some that are scientifically special. “Creative Carlsbad is hoping to use art activities as well as educational activities to bring a positive awareness about bats. We are working with Carlsbad First Assembly to develop this event for the community,” shared Joop. Visit the Creative Carlsbad Facebook page for more information on the organization and the 2021 Cavern City Bat Flight & Fest.

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