The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery, known to locals as “The Kelly,” has worked together with the Smoot Harris family and the City of Wetumpka to offer their second annual premier wildlife arts festival in downtown Wetumpka next month. The Wetumpka Wildlife Arts Festival (WEWA) is a cumulation and celebration of wildlife and field sports through the arts in a new, month-long series in the central Alabama town.

(The Kelly Fitzpatrick Center for the Arts/Facebook)

Having experienced unprecedented growth since being featured on HGTV’s “Home Town Takeover,” The Kelly has ramped up its mission of arts cultivation by engaging, inspiring, and educating the community and, today hosts hundreds of visitors each week at its Company Street location in the city’s historic business district.

The celebration will take place on November 11th on the banks of the Coosa River and will offer a variety of exciting experiences. Wildrose Kennels is renowned for their British and Irish Labradors in North America, and their British Labradors are regarded among wing shooters and adventurers as the most versatile sporting dogs in the world. At the festival, they will showcase and present demonstrations with their amazing dogs.

Premier chef Chris Hastings, James Beard award winner and owner of Hot and Hot Fish Club and Ovenbird, will be offering cooking demonstrations that will please the taste buds and inspire new ideas for your own kitchen. Kelly’s Kids will be leading carnival games and art projects for children throughout the entire event. Artisans, outdoorsmen, crafters, and animal enthusiasts alike will be offering a wide array of amazing things that will delight everyone!

(Wildrose Kennels – Gentleman’s Gundogs/Facebook)

Belyn Richardson, the organization’s president, explains, “We’re using this momentum to nurture and grow the arts in Wetumpka. With beautiful rivers, lakes, and abundant wildlife in Elmore County, as well as the nearby Alabama Nature Center, it only made sense for us to partner with Smoot Harris and the City to bring a top-tier wildlife arts festival to sweet home Alabama. We’re grateful for their enthusiasm and support.”

Bringing together wildlife artists, experts, and enthusiasts to an event expected to welcome thousands to the fast-becoming arts destination was also important to Alabama Black Belt Adventures founder and chairman Thomas Harris, whose family has deep roots in the Wetumpka area.

“The goal of the festival series is manifold and includes a desire to benefit the Wetumpka area by helping to increase tourism, impact economic development, expose The Kelly to a wider audience, and, hopefully, create an ongoing event for this charming community as it continues to grow into a mecca for the arts.”

To learn more, please visit the organization’s website at