34th annual  Manatee Festival

Crystal River’s water tower landmark is featured in a photo of the 34th annual Florida Manatee Festival in downtown Crystal River. The Crystal River Woman’s Club is hosting a poster contest with the theme, “Crystal River — The City of Kindness,” in hopes to unite the community and motivate people to act kindly.  Adult and student entries will be accepted until May 10. The winning posters will be placed around the city.

The Crystal River Woman’s Club (CRWC) is hoping to spread some color and kindness throughout the city this summer.

The club will be conducting a poster contest with the theme, “Crystal River – The City of Kindness.” The contest will encourage the city to bring kindness into businesses, homes, government buildings and schools.

Over the past year, the CRWC has had to get creative amongst COVID-19 restrictions. “I was thinking about a project that we could do, because we aren’t able to do fundraisers because of COVID,” CRWC’s Mary Johnson said.

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However, the club still wanted to contribute to the community. “Let’s make it so that it’s something positive for the whole city,” Johnson said.

The contest will be split into two categories: adults (over 21 years of age) residing in Crystal River and Crystal River High School (CRHS) students.

The poster must be 11 inches x 17 inches in size and two dimensional with original artwork and the contestant’s name clearly identified on the back.

Contestants should get creative with a drawing or painting using charcoal, markers, colored pencils, paint, watercolors or even a digital design.

Most importantly, the poster must include a slogan and artwork surrounding the theme, “Crystal River – The City of Kindness.”

“They have to have a slogan,” Johnson said. She gave the example, “kindness is served here,” which would be perfect to hang in local restaurants.

The winning poster from each category will receive a $100 prize. Winning and runner-up posters will be placed throughout Crystal River.

“We’re real anxious to see how it goes,” Johnson said. “If we get a good response, it’s certainly something we’d like to do every year.”

“We’re bringing in a couple of judges who have some experience in art,” Johnson said. CRHS art teacher, Anthony Mason, will be one of the judges.

Adult entries will be accepted between 10 a.m. and noon Monday, May 10, at the Crystal River Woman’s Club, 320 N. Citrus Ave with a completed entry form.

Student entries are to be submitted to Mason by 3 p.m. Monday, May 10, at CRHS with a completed entry form.

“We’re going to present the winners at the city council meeting on May 24th,” Johnson said.

The CRWC hopes that the contest will provide a fun platform to promote the city of Crystal River.

“We’re going to try to see if we can get the tourism group involved,” Johnson said.

Ensuring that residents and tourists alike feel welcome in Crystal River is an essential part of the community and economy.

To get an adult entry form, call Johnson at 352-503-3237 or pick one up at Crystal River City Hall, 123 U.S. 19 (Suncoast Highway). Student entry forms will be distributed at CRHS.

The CRWC will be printing the winning and runner-up posters to place around the city. Any local businesses or people who wish to donate to their efforts should also contact Johnson.

“The goal is, of course, to unite our community and bring kindness in as a motivator,” Johnson said.

Hannah is a reporter for the Chronicle. She can be reached at 352-564-2929 or email hannah.sachewicz@chronicleonline.com.

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