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Written by Nathan Wertheimer
The 2018 Manatee Festival in Orange City focus animals and the environment. There will be many activities and educational opportunities at this festival. This Festival is a Fund Raiser for the Orange City Community. The proceeds will benefit “Friends of Blue Spring State Park”, Educational scholarships, and other Greater Orange City Organizations. This festival is being held on the weekend of January 27 & 28, 2018.
It is only a short drive from Downtown Orlando to Orange City. Get your GPS for the best possible route. There is plenty of parking for those who arrive early. Please note there maybe a parking fee of $5-10 on the property at Valentine Park. Handicap parking is available on the festival property.
Once at the main gate there is an admission fee. Admission for adults is $8, Children ages 4-10 are $2, Children 3 and under are free. Plus, one can bring a dog for $10. Please bring cash.
If you arrive early it is recommended to hop on the free shuttle bus heading to Blue Springs State Park to see the manatees. There maybe long line in the middle of the day for those who want to see the manatees’ in-person.
At the festival grounds one will find many activities. Here is what you and your family could see and do. Check out the Central FL Zoo Presentations & Animal Ambassadors, arts & crafts, dancing, face painting, and shows & rides, children’s fingerprinting by V.I.P.S, Walk-on-water Balls, SPCA Adopt-A-Pet, a variety of great food, entertainment and sand sculpting. Some vendors may take credit card for payment.
There will also have some great entertainment. Here is just some of the entertainment you will see such as Bubba Whoopass and the Whoopoffs, Caerbannog, Karegan Wodz , and Disc Connected K9s – World Famous Frisbee Dog. One will not want to miss these great acts. Some acts many change without notice.
Don’t forget about the Manatee Games at the festival too. Here are just some of the games such as rock wall climbing, bungee jumping, US Army Obstacle Course, and Balloon an Shooting Gallery.
This festival is produced by The Orange City Blue Springs Manatee Festival Inc. This festival has fine sponsors help with this festival. They are Orange City government, News 13, Orange City Racing & Card Club, WCA, Friends of Blue Spring State Park, Image Works, and Fidelity Bank.
Here is some history about this festival. The Annual Orange City Blue Springs Manatee Festival was founded in 1985 with the mission to facilitate improvements and wellness for West Volusia Residents as well as promote environmental awareness in the community to the fullest. The Organization is a registered non-profit organization.
The Manatee Festival is dependent upon the dozens of volunteers, civic and social organizations and private corporations who choose to donate their time or commit their resources to bring our mission to life! Some of the most individual ways we put our funds to use include academic scholarships to local high school students to help defray college tuition costs; donations to individuals who are faced with the hardship of poverty or overwhelming medical expenses; providing educational forums about land conservation and “going green” efforts for all ages.
Additionally, proceeds also benefit the Blue Springs State Park “Wish List” area educational scholarships, the Sheriff’s “DARE” program, Operation Santa (which provides needed food and Christmas presents to over 80 families), The Police Athletic League, The Jaycees, The Library, The Local Rotary, Police and Fire Departments, Boggy Creek, Make a Wish, and other area programs. Over the last 28 years, The Manatee Festival has raised over $500,000. Last year alone over $40,000 was raised to give back to the community.
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Sources of information from themanateefestival.com