Debi’s mother and brother came to visit us over the holidays and we decided to go on some adventures. Included on the itinerary was Weeki Wachee State Park, which is most famous for its mermaids. It was, undoubtedly, an interesting experience. The park is rather rundown and definitely not of the caliber of either an amusement park or a state park. But it does have “mermaids” – well, kind of. Here’s what they mean by mermaids:
The tank where they are diving is actually Weeki Wachee Spring, which is a hot spring that releases water that is 74 degrees year round. A Navy frogman (precursor to the SEALS) came up with the idea, and before EPA regulations would have prevented such a thing, he sunk a theater into the spring and started doing “mermaid” shows. The shows aren’t very good. Rather than hire synchronized swimmers, who would be very good, it seems like all the “merpeople” (there was a guy, too) are local. They kind of swim together, but they aren’t particularly talented.
Aside from the mermaid shows, there is a boat ride on the river out of the springs that is okay, but the rest of the park isn’t much to look at. They do have a waterpark there that may be more fun in the summer. Someone really needs to update the place, but I’m guessing none of the big players want anything to do with it because of the environmental regulations and age of the place (I doubt they can do much to rehab the theater).
Anyway, it was definitely worth going, though I’m not sure I’ll be going back. Oh, and the best part… On the way out of the second show we watched, Steve, Debi’s brother, overheard some people talking. The last number the mermaids swam to was “God Bless the USA,” which was particularly odd considering there were international tourists there. As we walked out, one guy said to his companions, “Well, at least we know they are American Mermaids and not Muslims.” Apparently, he thinks you can’t be American AND Muslim! Idiot American!