Manatee Festival
Story and photos by Bonnie Alexander

Its all about the Manatees

Despite the cold chilly day, many folks came out to the 20th Annual Manatee Festival at Blue Springs. There was food and fun and did I mention food?


There was something for everyone. Shows, games, a giant sandcastle, arts/crafts, raffle drawings, and many items up for auction to the highest bidder. It was fun!  But in the end, it was really all about the Manatees.

Coming this time of year to stay warm in the constant 72 degree waters from Blue Spring, the gentle giants did not disappoint! They were all over the place. As was other wildlife, a huge gator, birds, turtles to mention a few. The water seemed warm as bath water, the air was in the 50's, and there were even a few swimmers! (even though its a no-no to swim while Manatees are present).

These giant creatures are vegetarians. They are HUGE, very docile, curious, gentle and magnificently wonderful.  They aren't afraid of us, and they will come right up to where you are. Its easy to forget that we're not supposed to reach out and touch them.

They put on quite a show for the crowds that turned out, as if they know that its really all about the Manatees.