More than 120 people turned out to help celebrate Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 121st birthday in Cross Creek on Saturday. They were treated to a fish fry with all the fixings including fried fish, grits, hush puppies, coleslaw, cake and sherbert made from tangerines and oranges from Marjorie’s grove on the farm.
See video highlights of the event below:
The Friends of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Farm and the staff of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park sponsored the event with support from Visit Gainesville/Alachua County. Northwest Seafood in Gainesville donated and fried the fish.
Visitors were treated to the jazz tunes of the band, “Uptown Swing” as they ate their meals on tables set up all around Marjorie’s home and barn. The August 5th event was part of the year-long activities planned around the 75th anniversary of Rawling’s publications, “Cross Creek,” and “Cross Creek Cookery.” For more information about upcoming events go online to marjoriekinnanrawlings.org
Meanwhile, at the Yearling Restaurant in Cross Creek, visitors can see a Florida wild animal exhibit which showcases the animals made popular in the literary works of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
Owner of the Yearling Restaurant, Robert Blauer, has recently added the colorful taxidermy-mount exhibit featuring most of the species of wild animals found throughout Florida. Many of these, particularly the bear and deer, were made famous by Rawlings in her many books like The Yearling (Pulitzer Prize 1939), and Cross Creek (1942). Some 40 animal mounts, called “Fodderwing’s Creeturs,” belonging to Cross Creek naturalist, Jim Stephens, are displayed against a spectacular mural setting painted by St. Augustine artist, Gayle Prevatt.
Blauer is inviting the public to come and see this new attraction while also enjoying the old-time dining favorites at the eatery such as gator-tail, catfish and grits, seafood, and sour orange pie, which have made the short drive from Gainesville a memorable dining adventure.
Mural Artist: Gayle Prevatt, 904-377-7917, firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Exhibit: Jim Stephens 352-466-3034, email@example.com
Yearling Restaurant owner: Robert Blauer, 352-466-3999