SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -

The 12th Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival will be held on Saturday to celebrate the unique role of bats in the Great Lakes ecosystem.

TV personality, conservation biologist and Organization for Bat Conservation Executive Director Rob Mies made the announcement that the free event will be held at the Southfield Pavilion in Southfield from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The organization said the festival drew 2,000 attendees in 2012 and is expected to attract 3,000 attendees this year.

In addition to celebrating the bat's unique role, the organization said the festival aims to dispel myths and misinformation that generate needless fears and threaten bats and their habitats around the world.

The goal of the festival is to help people discover the importance and uniqueness of bats in a fun and interactive environment, the organization said.

Attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Build bat houses for our national forests as part of National Public Lands Day
  • Meet a life-size Stellaluna
  • See live bats from around the world including giant flying fox and vampires
  • Watch birds of prey programs
  • Be a Bat Scientist with bat expert Tim Carter (Ball State University)
  • Explore the "Bat Cave"
  • Participate in nature-themed educational exhibits and bat-themed activities
  • Purchase signed copies of new children's book, Bats A to Z

The event is for all ages and free thanks in part to the Organization for Bat Conservation's sponsors Spirit of Alexandria, Critter Catchers and DTE Energy Foundation.

For more information about the festival, visit the Organization for Bat Conservation's website or call 248-645-3232.

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