ORANGE CITY, Fla. – The Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival returns to Orange City this weekend, and the weather is expected to be perfect for it.
The festival will take place Saturday and Sunday at Valentine Park, not far from Blue Spring State Park. The annual event is meant to raise awareness for the sea cows and raise money for local Orange City groups and scholarships.
Organizers said the coronavirus pandemic forced them to cancel the festival in 2021 and not everything festival goers saw in the past will be there this year, but many of the musical acts will be back and there will be new kids rides and food vendors.
“We’re just getting back on track like everyone else, but on track is fantastic and fun and we hope everyone comes out,” festival organizer Jeff Allebach said.
Some conservation groups will also be present to talk about efforts to protect the manatees, including the Save the Manatee Club and Gatorland.
Attendees will also be able to take a shuttle from Valentine Park to Blue Spring State Park, where park rangers will be on hand to answer questions about the star attraction, the manatees themselves.
Attendees can also expect to see hundreds of manatees this weekend. News 6′s Pinpoint Accurate Forecast says highs are expected to be in the mid-60s.
Manatees congregate at Blue Spring State Park when it’s cold because the spring stays at a constant 72 degrees. The colder the water outside the spring, the more manatees you’ll find at the park.
The park said there were a record number of manatees counted on Tuesday.
The shuttle to Blue Spring State Park is free with admission to the Manatee Festival. Tickets for adults are $8, and $2 for children ages 4 to 10.
For more information about the festival head to the manatee festival website.