Chattanooga, Tenn. (July 22, 2019) – For an animal whose importance to ocean life can’t be overstated, the shark has a tremendous public relations problem.
Almost always portrayed as the lurking villains of the salty depths in pop culture, sharks really should be celebrated for the role they play as apex predators by keeping populations of other species healthy and thriving.
In short, sharks — to twist a turn of phrase — are friends, not foes.
In recognition of the importance of these toothsome beauties, the Aquarium will host a jawsome celebration of all things shark with the return of SharkFest! on Aug. 2. During this members-only event from 5 to 8 p.m., guests will enjoy a wide variety of activities on the Aquarium plaza and throughout the Ocean Journey building.
Upon arrival at the Fest, visitors will be able to sink their teeth into shark-infused ice cream treats from Clumpies Ice Cream Co., have their faces painted and visit the experts from Great Clips for a fin-tastic ’do in a range of rad colors. After the feeding frenzy, guests can take advantage of a wide range of other activities on the plaza, including snapping selfies with costumed mascots, sifting through sand for shark teeth, playing a game of Shark Hole (like corn hole, but … you know, sharks) or grabbing a fishing pole to try to hook a fun prize.
The fun continues inside the Ocean Journey building, where the Secret Reef tank will host a special dive show presentation and feeding session with the Aquarium’s Sandbar Sharks and Sand Tiger Sharks. As guests explore the rest of the building, booths and mobile education stations will offer opportunities to get an even-closer look at sharks and shark artifacts.
- At Goofy Greg’s Massive Megaladon Tooth Collection, guests can goggle the enormously large chompers left behind by these now-extinct mega sharks.
- While they admire the graceful Epaulette Sharks, Horn Sharks and Coral Catsharks in the Stingray Bay touch tank, festivalgoers can get an up-close look at the leathery egg pouches, also known as mermaid’s purses, laid by these sleek animals. Staff members also will be on hand to answer questions about the Bay and its many animal residents.
- At Dr. Bernie’s Travelin’ Shark Show, experts will show visitors a collection of preserved museum specimens of various shark species, offering a closer look at the body shape, teeth configuration and other adaptations that make them such successful predators.
- Meet the SCUBA-diving local filmmakers from Nature Films Network who have produced some of the top-rated shark films for Shark Week.
In addition to all the shark-y presentations and activities, guests to SharkFest! also will enjoy a 20 percent discount off merchandise purchased in the Ocean Journey gift shop.
For more information about SharkFest!, visit https://community.tnaqua.org/events/2019-member-events/q3/sharkfest-2019. To learn about the benefits of becoming a Tennessee Aquarium member or to purchase a membership, visit https://www.tnaqua.org/members.