The state parks department's controversial proposal to cut 53 state park facilities that host less than 60,000 visitors — including Cedar Ket State Museum Park — has been rescinded. The fears of closings were eased when Gov. Rick Scott's budget proposal, released last week, included funding to keep the facilities open.
A Feb. 11 rally at Cedar Key, planned by Audubon of Florida, to protest the closing did not occur. However, it was still a great opportunity to visit the museum — or at least about a dozen people thought so, and not one of them had even heard about a rally.
Bill and Norma Anderson, of Blairsville, Ga., had been thinking of coming to Cedar Key for literally 50 years — ever since he was stationed at the Navy base in Panama City. They have been staying at a campground at Rainbow Springs, looked at the map and decided that 50 years was long enough, and “today was the day." They knew the trip would not be complete without seeing the museum.
Another couple from Sunberry, Ga., has been on a “rambling, run-around vacation” and were talking to friends who had been to Cedar Key. The friends suggested that Elaine and Bernard Maley would enjoy it, too. The Maleys enjoy going to local historic museums because “they want to find out what makes things tick” in a community.
Apparently, several people in Georgia had Cedar Key on their minds Friday, because Georgia (named after her father, George) and Ted Simmons were there, too. They had heard about Cedar Key while in college at Florida State University. Now, many years later, they finally stopped in for two days before continuing to Tampa for a cruise. Georgia Maley spoke of how she hated to hear about the possibility of any small museum closing because “they give a genuine flavor” and “the history of a small city is important”.
While it wasn’t anywhere near the amount of people that the state would like to see beating a path to the park, it was important to the visitors and it is important to Cedar Key.