The 33rd annual Florida Manatee Festival returns Saturday and Sunday to downtown Crystal River.

The Florida Manatee Festival is consistently rated year-after-year by attendees as one of the best outdoor events in Citrus County, according to the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce. Event organizers say the 2020 festival will certainly continue that tradition with the return of many favorite attractions, along with a host of exciting new ones.

New this year, take a chill stroll through the Heritage House Hippie Village. This fun and quirky addition features vendor, food, music and a VW car display reminiscent of the 60s and 70s. The new Adventure Zone will be ready for exploration at the corner of Citrus Avenue and Northwest 5th street. From rock climbing, to virtual reality racing, even a butterfly encounter, the Adventure Zone is jam packed with activities to excite all ages.

Featuring a wide selection of international and inventive cuisine choices, the Florida Manatee Festival will offer a tasty selection of fine food artists as part of “International Alley” that will be set up next to Little Springs Park on the north side of U.S. 19. 

Free shuttles and entry to Three Sisters Springs from the festival will be available, thanks to the sponsorship from the Friends of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and U.S. Fish & Wildlife.  This is a great opportunity to view manatees from the boardwalk surrounding these world-famous springs, as well as wander the restored wetlands area that has become home to hundreds of migrating birds. Or perhaps you would also like to see manatees and birds from the waters of Kings Bay? For a nominal fee, you may take a half-hour boat ride around the bay that leaves from Waterfront Park at the south end of downtown.

Musical entertainment will be ongoing both days from four stages. The Main Stage at Kings Bay Park; the Gazebo Stage at Little Springs Park; and, the Hippie Village and the festival’s third stage along North Citrus Avenue, behind the Heritage House.

Additionally, more than 300 fine art, craft, commercial and nonprofit vendors will line the streets on both the north and south sides of downtown.  “Art in the Park” will be in King’s Bay Park, offering the perfect setting to browse and purchase an original piece of art for your home, business or as a wearable piece of jewelry that will be a treasure of special meaning forever.

For the kiddos, a Kids Zone will reside in King’s Bay Park with fabulous rides, inflatables, costumed characters with Celestial Fantasy Entertainment, face painting, carnival food and games.

For information, visit www.GoManateeFest.com, www.facebook.com/FloridaManateeFestival, or call 352-795-3149.

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