Brevard sloth farm gives Artemis, animal fans a unique launch experience

Tickets on sale for ‘Rockets, Sloths, and Mimosas’ event

Over 400,000 people are expected to make their way to Brevard County this weekend to catch a glimpse of the historic Artemis launch.

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Over 400,000 people are expected to make their way to Brevard County this weekend to catch a glimpse of the historic Artemis launch.

While there are several great locations around the county to see the rocket, there’s one unique place that can give you an experience unlike any other.

Few could imagine watching a rocket launch while holding a sloth but that’s what Romelia Farms in Merritt Island is making possible.

“Sitting in your car for two and a half, three hours versus being here, playing with cute animals and doing other activities while also supporting a good cause for a non-profit,” farm owner Lina Graves said.

[TRENDING: Crowds expected to double for next Artemis I launch attempt | ‘We don’t know what to do or where to turn:’ DeLand trailer park hikes rent 52% | Enter to win Halloween Horror Nights tickets | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

Tucked away on 36 acres off North Courtenay Parkway in Merritt Island, just 10 miles south of the space center, Lina Graves and her husband, Jeremy, saw another recent launch and thought their Romelia Farms would be a prime location to host space and animal lovers.

“I’m just standing watching all of this happen and I’m just thinking like ‘Oh my god, this is an amazing place to be,’” she said.

The couple sold tickets to hundreds on Monday and now they hope to see an even bigger crowd for take two of an Artemis launch attempt Saturday.

“We had the projector screen here inside of the barn with the sound so we all knew all of the updates coming directly from NASA,” she said.

The Graves bought the farm in July of 2021. Coming from corporate backgrounds, they were looking for a wedding venue to buy and rent out.

“We were just going to buy the one acre that this sits on but then we learned there were over 150 animals on this property, and it was essentially a for-profit petting zoo,” Jeremy Graves said.

They then found out the animals were about to go off to auction with the sale.

“So, we cashed in everything. We liquidated every asset that we had and we bought a zoo,” he said.

They turned it into a non-profit organization. Romelia Farms is now an animal rescue, petting zoo, fish farm and wedding venue.

The Graves said the money raised from “Rockets, Sloths, and Mimosas” will help keep that going while giving launch viewers an unforgettable experience.

“We’re building our beautiful Lola a new enclosure, so we need to raise some funds for that,” Lina Graves said. “Being a non-profit, it’s difficult to raise money to care for these animals for the feed and their diets and all of that.”

You can find ticket information about Rockets, Sloths, and Mimosas and the farm’s upcoming gala fundraiser by clicking here.

You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.