Every year, the quaint little community of Ozello puts on a big festival, featuring vendors, food and family fun.
The Ozello Arts, Crafts & Blue Crab Festival, presented by the Ozello Civic Association (OCA), returns for its 15th year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 27, 14095 W. Ozello Trail in Crystal River.
Attendees can browse through the 50-plus artists and crafters in attendance. "We really have quite a mix of vendors this year," OCA advertising and PR chair Abigail Morrison told the Chronicle.
Among other unique items, Morrison said there will be wooden carvings of sea creatures, organic teas, coffees and even homemade licorice.
Many of the festival vendors return year after year. Morrison credits this largely to atmosphere of Ozello. "It really does have an old Florida feel to it," she said.
Of course, it wouldn't be the Ozello Arts, Crafts & Blue Crab Festival without the tasty blue crab. Local restaurants Pecks, Backwater Fins and the Island Outpost will be preparing the crustaceans and other eats.
Musical entertainment will be provided by DJ Clarke Moore. Attendees can also purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a kayak package.
The prize, valued at approximately $1,800, will be awarded at OCA's upcoming chili festival in February 2022. The winner need not be present.
What's all this for? The profits of OCA's yearly festivals are donated to several local charities. Donation recipients are voted on by OCA board members.
In the past, OCA has donated funds to The Sanctuary, Precious Paws Rescue Inc., the Citrus County Foundation for Animal Protection and veterans groups, among others. Every year, the organization also adopts a family in need, in addition to their education scholarship fund and Christmas Toys for Tots donations.
Morrison her favorite part of these events is the impact it has on local organizations. "The people are so dedicated."
Festival entrance and parking are free, so Morrison encourages people to come on out. "It's just a good, interesting day," she said.
For more information, visit tinyurl.com/ozello-fest-2021.