Weeki Wachee Springs marks 70 years of mermaid shows

Households visiting the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Saturday have been in for a particular deal with. The state park celebrated its seventieth yr of mermaids exhibits.

  • Unique mermaid Dianne Wyatt McDonald returns for ceremony
  • “Legendary Sirens” carried out throughout Saturday’s occasion
  • Wyatt McDonald is co-creator of “adagio pose”

One of many particular friends was one of many unique mermaids, 87-yr-previous Dianne Wyatt McDonald.

“Oh the present is probably the most lovely factor on the earth. Particularly these older women that do it,” Wyatt McDonald stated. “I can not consider it. If I lived nearer right here, I might be with them.”

She was mesmerized by the efficiency of a gaggle of mermaids of their 60s and 70s, referred to as the “Legendary Sirens.”

They carried out a 30-minute present in the course of the celebration.

Again in Wyatt McDonald’s performing days in 1947, issues have been totally different.

The unique mermaids – the Aquarelles

“We did not have the air hoses, or the fins or the masks. We simply held our breath and did our stints beneath water, with no air hose, nothing,” she stated.

Thankfully, she had a background in synchronized swimming. She stated the unique mermaids have been a synchronized swimming group in St. Petersburg referred to as the Aquabelles, earlier than they turned mermaids.

Weeki Wachee Springs’ unique proprietor, Newton Perry, heard concerning the group and invited them to audition. On the second try and impress him, Wyatt McDonald stated they gained him over.

Based on Wyatt McDonald, they weren’t paid however given lunches and the swimsuits. Nevertheless, they did seem in magazines, newspapers and sports activities films.

Wyatt McDonald is well-known within the mermaid world. She’s the co-creator of the “adagio pose,” which is featured within the statue in entrance of the park, and carried out typically by the mermaids.

“I am ever so pleased with that. I get goose bumps each time I see them carry out it within the theater,” Wyatt McDonald stated.

Dianne Wyatt McDonald, proper, and Delee Perry (Stephanie Claytor, employees)

She was additionally featured within the first two postcards for the favored roadside attraction on US 19.

“There’s not a lot you’ll be able to’t do underwater, I am going to inform you it is fantastic,” she stated. “It is one thing you always remember. It simply brings again previous reminiscences.”

Whereas she’s not capable of carry out, she’s simply grateful the attraction has survived all of those years and is now recognized the world over.

“Oh that feels fantastic as a result of we have been so afraid that one thing was going to occur to Weeki Wachee, and I am so thrilled that it is made such an exquisite return. It is only a marvelous place. Could not be higher,” Wyatt McDonald stated.

Newton Perry’s daughter, Delee Perry, who was additionally honored, agreed.

“I am simply so grateful that the state of Florida was capable of are available and assist out preserving Weeki Wachee and the springs,” Perry stated.

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