Bridgeland's fifth annual Nature Fest will feature lions, crocodiles and even butterflies floating in bubbles.
Staples Safari will headline the event set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 28 in Bridgeland's Oak Meadow Park. Part of the expanded slate of entertainers, two shows will be presented: the Animal Magic Show at noon and the Primarily Primates Show at 4 p.m. Some of the animals included in the traveling zoo will be a 600-pound white tiger, a black panther, kangaroos, baboons, spider monkeys, lemurs and others.
Free to the public, the event had more than 4,000 people in attendance last year.
"Nature Fest has gotten better each year and it is great to see the response from everyone including people from surrounding communities that come back," said Lona Shipp, Bridgeland's marketing director. "We feel that we raised the bar in entertainment in terms of stage acts this time."
Returning to the Nature Fest stage will be Birds of Prey, performing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., The Crocodile Encounter live reptile show at 10 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. and The Drum Caf, a high-energy troupe that uses the sounds and rhythms of Africa to energize crowds. The group, which performs at 1 p.m., will bring about 250 drums so audience members can join in the fun and music. The Texas Stars Youth Choir also will entertain crowds at 2:45 p.m.
At 10:30 a.m., Puffy Pinecone from The Woodlands will help introduce Bridgeland's new mascot. In addition to meeting the lovable character, audience members will receive special surprises.
The ethereal Butterfly Spheres' performances should be an event highlight performing both on land and in water, Shipp said. Entertainers who appear in ladybug and dragonfly costumes will interact with the crowd as they accompany the Butterfly Spheres.
HomeAid Houston will have its intricately designed Project Playhouse on display, which is raffled off annually to raise funds used for providing shelter for the homeless in the Houston area.
Other activities planned for the day are pony and camel rides, a petting zoo, farmer's market, train rides, inflatables, rock wall, arts and crafts, face painting, armadillo races, outdoor laser tag, nature-themed exhibitors and more.
"It feels amazing to be able to offer this to people because it is such a fun and unique event," Shipp said. "At the end of the day, it is nice to provide that opportunity for families to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors."
For more information, call 281- 304-5588 or visit www.bridgeland.com.