Mermaid act boosts spring attendance at SC Aquarium in Charleston

The mermaids from Weeki Wachee Springs, Fla., swim among hundreds of fish in the South Carolina Aquarium’s Great Ocean Tank on March 28.

The South Carolina Aquarium reported a 10 percent boost in attendance the week the Weeki Wachee mermaids performed compared to last year.

The downtown waterfront attraction said it had nearly 26,000 visitors from March 28 through April 3. When the mermaids came to Charleston for a longer nine-day run in 2015, attendance was 23,413, according to the aquarium.

“We were pleased but not surprised by the strong turnout for mermaids this year,” Aquarium CEO Kevin Mills, said in a written statement. “They put on such a fun show and inspire our guests to care for our oceans. We can easily imagine them returning as an annual rite of spring.”

Revenue also rose for the week by 8 percent to $436,178 compared to last year.

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The mermaid act is from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park north of Tampa, Fla, a natural tourist attraction that has been featuring underwater swimming and dance shows since the 1940s.

They performers made their debut at the Aquarium in April 2014, partly as a draw for school kids who are on spring break. The Concord Street attraction spent $14,574 to bring them to Charleston this year.

Reach Allison Prang at 843-937-5705 or follow her on Twitter @AllisonPrang.