January 2019 manatee festivals: Orange City and Crystal River


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 2019 manatee festivals is expected to draw thousands of people:

The 2019 Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival 

  • When: Jan. 26-27, 2019.
  • Where:  Valentine Park, West French Avenue off of Highway 17-92.
  • Admission: $8 for adults and $2 for children 4 to 10. Children 3 and under 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 2019 Florida Manatee Festival 

  • When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan 20, 2019
  • 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 12 and under 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 music on two stages, a Kid Zone, free access and shuttle to Three Sisters Springs 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


  1. Are dogs allowed on the shuttle buses?

  2. Lorraine Paxton

    Do you rent out tables for crafts?

    • We have no connection to these festivals. We just write about them. Follow the links in the article to find out how to reach festival organizers.

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