By the 80’s the once vibrant population of the Purple Martin was then hanging in the balance from invasive bird species. Seeing a need to help the bird hang on, conservationists and bird enthusiasts took it upon themselves to help bring the population back to safe levels. By building nest boxes and gourd homes specific to the Martin, active citizens help to ensure its survival to this day. It is in this spirit of respect and love for the Purple Martin, and care for its conservation, that The Purple Martin Festival is held annually at the Mason-Dixon Park.
Without doubt, the Purple Martin Festival is a perfect opportunity for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers to witness the beautiful bird in all stages of life, from baby, to adult. As parents teach their young they show off their impressive acrobatic abilities to the delight of keen observers. Mason Dixon Park is a bit of a bird sanctuary for the species. The festival doubles as an opportunity to clean the houses in the park, and to band fledgling Purple Martins. The little balls of fluff are cute and the experience of seeing one up close is cherished by children and adults alike. Local bird experts are on hand to provide bird walks and to guide visitors in observing the Martin.
The Mason Dixon Park is notorious for is obsession with food. This is a good thing for hungry visitors because concessions at this park are primo. Chicken sandwiches are paired with homemade macaroni salads and potato salads. There are of course the famous Mason Dixon Dogs – a meal on a bun and that’s no exaggeration. As always the dogs are free to all active duty service military. And still there is more with a catalog of deserts that would make a man weep for joy, if he wasn’t already weeping over being so stuffed.
Admission and parking is free.