The 11th Anniversary of the Florida Bat Festival takes place on October 24th, 2015. This unique event will provide a rare opportunity for the general public and wildlife lovers to visit a working research and conservation center to see some of the largest species of bat face-to-face. The festival will be held on the grounds of the conservancy, a 110-acre ranch, located at 1309 N.W. 192nd Avenue in Gainesville, FL. This free festival offers exciting opportunities for the whole family. Whether you are viewing live fruit bats, sitting in on an education presentation, or visiting a vendor’s booth, the festival offers relaxation and recreation. Each year this event features free activities, including bat-themed crafts and games for kids, educational exhibits, presentations by bat experts, and the unique opportunity to see live fruit bats with 5 ft wingspans on exhibit in our Bat Zone. Local vendors will be spread across the beautiful grounds of the conservancy selling food and beverages, providing local environmental educational information, and selling batty merchandise. The Lubee Bat Conservancy, a non-profit organization, houses the largest collection of fruit bats in the world, and works with global conservation partners to protect at-risk species of bats. Efforts are focused on plant-visiting “fruit and nectar” bats, because they are vulnerable to extinction yet vital to the world’s rainforests and deserts, and to the economies of developing countries.