Central Florida / Festivals

January 2017 manatee festivals: Orange City and Crystal River

A manatee at Blue Spring State Park.Two large manatee festivals celebrate Florida’s beloved manatee every January – one in Orange City and one in Crystal River.  These two locations are probably the best places in the state to see manatees in clear water and in great numbers.

Each of these 2017 manatee festivals is expected to draw thousands of people:

The 2017 Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival 

  • When: Jan 28 and 29, 2017.
  • Where:  Valentine Park, West French Avenue off of Highway 17-92.
  • Admission: $8 for adults and $2 for children 4 to 10. Children under 3 are free. (Dogs: $10)
  • The main attraction at the Orange City Manatee Festival are shuttle buses to the Blue Spring State Park for manatee viewing.
  • Other activities include arts and crafts booths,  face-painting, dancing and rides. The event benefits the Friends of Blue Spring State Park, scholarships and other Orange City organizations.
  • Festival’s official site
  • Find a Hotel in Orange City
  • Find a Campsite near Orange City on ReserveAmerica

Crystal River 2017 Florida Manatee Festival 

  • When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday 15, 2017
  • 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.
  • Admission: Donations are $5 for adults; children under 12 free.
  • The key event is an open house at nearby Three Sisters Spring, where manatees are easy to see and watch in the clear spring water.
  • To park for the festival, go to  the southeast corner of the Kings Bay Shopping Plaza parking lot at US 19 and Kings Bay Drive.  There are frequent shuttles to the festival grounds.
  • Festival activities include arts and crafts booths, entertainment including  live music and a wine and beer garden.
  • Manatee Boat Tours will be available from the City Pier at the end of Third Street. The tours will take you out into Kings Bay and other favorite hangouts of the manatees. Fee.
  • Festival’s official site
  • Find a Hotel in Crystal River
  • Find a Campsite near Crystal River on ReserveAmerica

 More about Florida manatees

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  1. Are dogs allowed on the shuttle buses?

  2. Lorraine Paxton says:

    Do you rent out tables for crafts?

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