Florida Manatee Festival

The Florida Manatee Festival returns to downtown Crystal River on Saturday and Sunday, January 13 and 14, to celebrate its 31st Anniversary of providing quality entertainment and manatee encounter opportunities for residents and visitors to our community.

This perennially favorite event is co-produced by the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and Rotary of Crystal River and encompasses both sides of Citrus Ave. from the Waterfront at Third Street across US 19 to Crystal Street and surrounding areas.  The Florida Manatee Festival attracts over 20,000 people during the two days and has consistently been awarded the “Best of the Best” by readers of the Citrus County Chronicle for many years.

In celebration of its namesake Manatees, festival goers will have the chance to board free bus tours to Three Sisters Springs. The tours that will run continuously during the Festival are conducted in cooperation with the City of Crystal River with support from the Friends of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.  For a closer look at the manatees in their natural settings, Manatee Boat Tours will be available from the City Pier at the end of Third Street for a nominal charge that will take you out into Kings Bay and other favorite hangouts of the manatees.

Last year's updated Festival layout will make moving around the event easier and our second Beer and Wine Garden will return to the gazebo area by City Hall.  Mellower than the Waterfront stage, the Little Springs Park stage will feature some local hometown favorites.

The grounds of Heritage Village will come alive and feature a Vintage Fair, a new experimental area of the event that will appeal to both young and old. 

Fine arts and craft artists, two food courts serving everything from seafood to BBQ and everything in between, and lots of opportunities to interact with local non-profit organizations and commercial businesses will round out the offerings for this year’s event.

Manatee Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Entrance fee is $5 for guests 12 and older.  Park at the Crystal River Mall and take a free shuttle to the Festival location.

For more information, contact the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce at 352-795-3149 or www.facebook.com/FloridaManateeFestival


Festival at a Glance

What: 31st Annual Florida Manatee Festival

When: Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 am – 5 pm; and Sunday, Jan. 14, 9 am – 4 pm

Where: Downtown Crystal River, at the intersection of Citrus Avenue and U.S. 19, stretching up through the shops and restaurants of Heritage Village and surrounding areas, down to the waterside area along King’s Bay.

Boat Tours: Local boat captains will offer boat tours on a first-come basis. Tickets are available for adults; children 12 and under free. The tickets are good only on the date purchased and will be sold at the boat dock area near northwest Third Street (Kings Bay Park).

Event website:
www.gomanateefest.com (currently under construction) or

Chamber phone: 352-795-3149