Crystal River and Citrus County offer something to celebrate year-round! Bring the whole family along this year for New Year’s Eve fireworks, with food and activities Downtown leading up to this event.
This event takes the place of the City’s 4th of July celebration and features shopping vendor areas, a golf cart parade, and fireworks over Kings Bay.
Florida Manatee Festival
The Florida Manatee Festival, presented by the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and held annually in Historic Downtown Crystal River, draws more than 20,000 visitors over two days. Attractions include manatee boat tours, live entertainment on two stages, beer and wine gardens, storefront businesses featuring products or services related to manatees, food vendors lining both streets, a children’s activity zone as well as children’s boat tours!
Each year, hundreds or even thousands of manatees migrate to Crystal River’s canals in search of shelter from colder Gulf waters, seeking sanctuary in its spring-fed waters. Alongside manatees, alligators, alligator snakes, and various other wildlife inhabit this area of Florida. As part of its annual festival celebrations, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge also provides three wildlife programs at Three Sisters Springs, including bird tours at 9:30 am, wetland/manatee programs at 12:30 pm, and Beyond the Boardwalk at 2 pm.
This event provides an incredible opportunity to see manatees in Florida’s natural surroundings while taking part in its festivities and traditions. There will also be gourmet food trucks, 5K run, community parade and fireworks show at 9:15 pm!
Homosassa Chili Cookoff
Are You Hosting a Chili Cook-off? Add Some Festive Decor! A gridiron table runner is easy to create: cut a white canvas to size, tape single lines across at roughly 6-in intervals across the crosswise direction and stick on number-shaped stickers resembling yard marks, remove tape and stickers once the canvas has been spray-painted tan, and spray off tape/stickers from canvas surface before spray-painting over it with spray tan paint and remove!
This cook-off serves as a fundraiser for Friends of O’Leno State Park, who are raising funds to expand its nature center north of High Springs on U.S. 441. Spectators pay $2 to sample and vote on each entry; their votes determine who takes home prizes in both CASI and open categories.
Local chefs compete in various categories to determine who has created the best local chili. Contestants may enter either in the CASI division, judged according to a strict scoring system, or the open class, where scoring criteria may be less restrictive. Winners in both divisions are invited to compete at the World Food Championships later.
Bring the family out for this annual festival in Citrus County that includes a parade, live music performances, food vendors, and plenty of refreshments! Don’t forget about Kings Bay Park, where fireworks displays and other exciting festivities await you afterward!
Homosassa River Festival
The Homosassa River Festival offers visitors a fun way to discover Florida’s rich seafood heritage. Enjoy stone crab, grouper, shrimp chowders, and more while listening to live music performances and engaging in other attractions at this festive event – everything is available for young children as well as adults alike – while making use of vendors selling locally sold arts and crafts!
Crystal River’s most celebrated event, the JAMBALAZO PARADE, takes place annually on the first Friday in December and serves as an exciting opening act of holiday festivities for visitors to the area. With floats decorated to represent famous movies or cartoons – perfect for getting you into the holiday spirit – followed by vendor booths and a visit from Santa Claus himself, it makes an unforgettable spectacle.
As fall sets in, festival season commences with numerous events such as the St. Patrick’s Day Dog Parade, the 4th of July celebration, and the Scarecrow Festival, which are held annually at Heritage Village. This family-oriented festival includes games, food vendors, haunted hayrides, and live performances – the latter of which draws over 10,000 attendees!
Nature Coast, Dragon Boat Club, hosts their annual DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL at nearby Lake Hernando each winter, featuring one of the fastest-growing team sports around and suitable for people of all ages. In addition to featuring this event as one of its highlights, this festival also offers children’s play areas as well as beer and wine gardens for visitors to enjoy!
Florida Battle of the Seminole
The Florida Battle of the Seminoles was an event that forever altered Florida’s history. Just one year after Florida became a territory, Osceola led her tribe in surprise attacks against U.S. soldiers near Bushnell – known as the Dade Massacre. This attack caused outrage among federal troops and also resulted in forced removals to reservations in present-day Oklahoma by Osceola and her band.
The Second Seminole War was one of the United States’ longest-running military engagements prior to the Vietnam War, lasting seven years and costing the lives of 1,440 American soldiers. Furthermore, this battle fostered sectional tensions and incited racism against blacks.
This annual festival features food, beer and wine, music, games, and entertainment in the park – perfect for celebrating Independence Day with family. Fireworks begin at 9:15 pm; admission to this famous festival is free and open to the public; the annual chili cookoff takes place concurrently while local vendors and craftsmen also attend this event hosted by the Rotary Club of Homosassa Charitable Foundation who use this fundraiser event as their own.