35th Annual Manatee Festival returns to Crystal River Jan. 15-16

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on December 16, 2021

The Florida Manatee Festival returns for its 35th year to the manatee capital of the world, downtown Crystal River, on Saturday and Sunday, January 15-16, 2022!

The Florida Manatee Festival is consistently rated by attendees as one of the best outdoor events in Citrus County!

Featuring a wide selection of delicious cuisine choices, the Florida Manatee Festival is pleased to offer a tasty selection of delectable delights in two food courts. One will be located in Little Springs Park along with a beer and wine garden, the second will be located right near the main stage in Kings Bay Park with another beer and wine garden.

Enjoy a Guided Kayak Tour or Manatee Boat Tour at the Florida Manatee Festival

Back this year, guided kayak tours will be offered at the festival with Hunter Springs Kayaks! Tour guides will take you on a 1-hour tour of the bay and Hunter Springs area giving a firsthand glance at the beauty of our Nature Coast!

Also returning are manatee boat tours! Participating local guides will take you to the best manatee watch spots for a chance to see our favorite floating friends up close without getting in the water!

Kayak and Manatee tours are part of 2022’s Florida Manatee Festival. Image by Dave Perry, Jr.

Live Music from three Stages both Days

Musical entertainment will be ongoing both days from three stages. The Main Stage at Kings Bay Park will feature Center Lane on Saturday from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., followed by headliner and nationally acclaimed Tom Petty cover band, Heavy Petty taking the stage from 3 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. Growing up in Gainesville, FL listening to Tom Petty’s music and stories from friends and strangers that knew “Tommy”, they started HEAVY PETTY in 2009 for a one night only show and almost a decade later, they have fans all across the nation. You may come for Tom Petty, but you’ll stay for HEAVY PETTY!

Sunday’s main stage entertainment will kick off with local favorite Barefoot Bob & the Hope from 10 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. followed by headliner Propaganjah from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.

Propaganjah is bringing pulse thumping, high energy, melodic, one drop reggae music with a modern feel that has captivated audiences in the short 3 years since their 2017 debut. Propaganjah focuses on the fans and brings a one-of-a-kind experience with a truly unique sound that stems from their diverse cultural backgrounds.  Influenced by the greatest of the greats, their strong Caribbean and R&B roots can be heard in every song. Propaganjah’s message is meant inspire a positive, forward-thinking view of life, love and respect.

Hippie Village returns to Heritage Village with Entertainment all Weekend

Palimino Blonde and a full lineup of entertainment will be featured in Hippie Village and on the Little Springs Park stages. Image by Jade White.

Additional entertainment can be found at Little Springs Park and in Hippie Village at Heritage House on Citrus Avenue including acts like Mel & The Misfits, Palomino Blonde, the Grass Campers, Madi Carr, Magic Andy, and Reflections Dance Studio. A full lineup with days and times can be found on our website!

Arts & Crafts and Nonprofit Vendors add to the Fun

Fine arts and craft, commercial and nonprofit vendors make the festival atmosphere come alive! Image courtesy of Citrus County Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, more a vast array of fine art, craft, commercial and non-profit vendors will line the streets on both the north and south sides of downtown.  “Art in the Park” will be held in Crystal River’s beautiful Town Square, 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.

Fun for kids of all ages includes a Kids Zone at the Florida Manatee Festival. Image courtesy of Citrus County Chamber of Commerce.

For the kiddos, a Kids Zone and fun activities will span throughout the festival including inflatables, face painting, carnival food and more! For the adults, there will be more food, along with beer and wine gardens near both music stages and throughout the festival.  Top it all off with cool cars to drool over, compliments of the Citrus County Vettes & Camaros Club and the Nature Coast Mustangs.  With something to please everyone, the 35th Annual Florida Manatee Festival is the place to go!

For more information: www.GoManateeFest.com, www.facebook.com/FloridaManateeFestival, or 352-795-3149.

Plan to Attend the 35th Annual Manatee Festival January 15-16, 2022

What: 35th Annual Florida Manatee Festival

When: Saturday, Jan. 15, 9 am – 5 pm; and Sunday, Jan. 16, 9 am – 4 pm

Cost: $5 per person, ages 12 and under free

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 Kings Bay.

Parking: Free parking at the Crystal River Mall at 1801 NW U.S. 19 (approximately one mile north of the event) with free shuttle buses to the event. There is limited street and handicap parking available.

Boat Tours: Local boat captains will offer boat tours on a first-come basis. Tickets are available on site for $10 for adults; $5 for children 6 – 12 years old; and children 5 and under free. The tickets are good only on the date purchased and are sold at the boat dock area near northwest Third Street (Kings Bay Park).

Guided Kayak Tours: Local guides will take you on a 1-hour guided kayak tours of the bay with Hunter Springs Kayaks.

Merchandise: Want a festival t-shirt, sun shirt, or cap? Manatee Merch is available at https://citruschamberfestivals.manateenation.com/manatee/

Event website: www.gomanateefest.com or www.facebook.com/FloridaManateeFestival

Chamber phone: 352-795-3149



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