Manatee Festival Madness in March!
By Ally Greco, Director of Communications and Outreach
Normally, the Florida Manatee Festival in Crystal River, FL, is held in January each year. The weather is typically mild or cool, with hundreds of manatees wintering in the nearby warm-water springs. In 2021, however, the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce decided to postpone the festival to March 27 and 28 to allow those eligible who wanted to obtain COVID-19 vaccines time to do so. The new March dates turned out to be hot and sunny, with plenty of visitors attending the event!
Volunteers from Save the Manatee Club staffed the Club’s booth all weekend long to educate visitors about manatees and fundraise for our manatee conservation efforts. “Hope,” the giant inflatable manatee, was set up in Downtown Crystal River to welcome visitors to our signature booth location. She had been in storage for over 14 months since the last large-scale Save the Manatee Club event in January 2020 and was happy to make an appearance.
Despite the hot, humid weather, many manatee-lovers showed up to the fun street festival. At the Save the Manatee Club booth, visitors could pick up information about manatee-safe boating, coloring and activity books for the kids, and other manatee goodies like t-shirts and tote bags for a donation. Lots of event visitors became Save the Manatee Club members through our Adopt-A-Manatee® program.
Thank you to all of the Save the Manatee Club volunteers who helped educate and fundraise at the Florida Manatee Festival; more than $1,800 was raised over the weekend to support manatee protection and education efforts! If you are interested in joining the volunteer team at our next event, please fill out our online volunteer application.