© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Weeki Wachee's Mermaids Are Back Just In Time For The Holiday Weekend


, about an hour's drive north of Tampa, announced on Friday its underwater memaid theater is open.

The park's famous mermaids hadn't performed for audiences at the park since November 2018, when renovations began. (Fans of the kitschy attraction’s aesthetic, take heart. The Florida Parks Department says the theater’s renovations kept its original mid-century look.) 

Just because the theater was closed did not mean the mermaids were idly floating. The half-women, half-fish have been choreographing a brand-new show, practicing more than six hours a day and performing in aquariums around the Southeast.

The mythical creatures have been a star attraction at the park for more than 70 years.

Weeki Wachee Springs is one of those old-time Florida attractions that is a throwback to a simpler time. It was one of the nation’s most popular tourist stops in the 1950s.

Credit Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Although it started out as a privately-owned attraction, it became a state park in 2008.

Last month the park held auditions for new mermaids. Once a woman is hired, training takes four to six months before she ever swims in part of a show. 

“It takes about a full year to know all the parts of the show,” park spokesman John Athanason told WJCT News last month.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit .

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.