Happy 65th birthday to Snooty, the oldest known manatee in captivity, and a resident of Bradenton's South Florida Museum. Snooty doesn't look a day over 50.
Celebrating this momentous occasion, the museum is throwing a party Saturday and everyone's invited. There will be games for the kiddies, a wildlife awareness festival, art activities, live entertainment and snacks — maybe some kale, collards or bok choy, like Snooty eats daily.
Admission is free for the outdoor events, centered in the museum's Spanish Plaza. Tickets to go inside and meet the manatee of honor face-to-snout are discounted for the day to $8 general admission, $7 if you're Snooty's age or older, and $6 for children ages 4-12. Anyone younger than 4 gets in free because Snooty loves ya.
Born July 21, 1948, at the long-defunct Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company, Snooty's was the first manatee birth ever recorded in captivity. He was moved to Bradenton in 1949 as part of the city's DeSoto Heritage Festival and since then has greeted more than 1 million visitors, becoming the county's official mascot.
Which makes sense since we're talking about Manatee County.
Here's a fun fact about this half-ton of fun: At birth Snooty was called "Baby Snooks," named for a radio character played in the late 1940s by Funny Girl Fanny Brice. A communication breakdown between Miami and Bradenton caused the name to be altered to Baby Snoots, and Snooty as he grew older. He didn't get the name for being a snob.
Snooty's party runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W in Bradenton. visitsouthfloridamuseum.org. (941) 746-4131.
Want to know more before you go? Check out this cool graphic on Snooty.