Karla Kinstler of Houston, MN writes:
I coordinate the International Festival of Owls, held annually the first weekend in March in the tiny little town of Houston, MN (population 1,020). It began simply as a hatch-day party for Alice the Great Horned Owl, the Houston Nature Center’s only live animal, and grew into an event that last year brought in people from England, Jamaica, and Alaska. It is the only full-weekend, all-owl event in North America.
The event is entirely focused on owls, including live owls, owl prowls to call in wild owls at night, top-name “owlologists” as speakers, owl-themed food, owl photography sessions, owl crafts, the presentation of the World Owl Hall of Fame Awards (derived from a Publicity Hound suggestion!) and more owl things than you can shake a stick at.
While we’re developing an international following, our attendance has yet to climb over the 500 mark. With great events for families, biologists, and photographers, I truly believe our attendance should be at least 1,000, given our very rural location.
Owls are such a fun subject to work with, I’m betting there are some hounds out there with excellent publicity ideas.