If ever there was a place that showcases its best during a festival, Crystal River is that town.
This weekend is the annual Manatee Festival, which you can bet will mean big crowds on both sides of U.S. 19 in the Citrus Avenue area.
The Manatee Festival is art, crafts, great food, entertainment, wildlife boat tours and so much more. Click here for the rundown.
We all need breaks from reality on occasion and the Manatee Festival provides that. It’s good to get out of the house and mingle with our neighbors and guests in such a fun atmosphere.
It’ll be a little chilly, but Florida chilly — 50s. I won’t need the long johns, unlike the freeze 14 or so years ago when I was covered head to toe in an attempt to keep warm.
This year’s festival weather isn’t that cold, but it’ll be cold enough to see manatees congregating in Three Sisters Springs. Always nice when the manatees show up on the day of their honor.
Other end of week thoughts:
— I was driving Thursday to the chamber of commerce office to pick up my Manatee Festival press pass (yes, that’s a real thing), and encountered the U.S. 19 construction. Wow. That is an intense amount of road work taking place and, while road construction is never pretty, the businesses are really taking a beating.
It’s always a little confusing trying to navigate a turn off U.S. 19 under construction, because you’re basically cutting across the new lanes that aren’t open yet and there are several drops in the pavement.
Reminds me once again to support local businesses, especially those struggling to attract customers who will brave the construction.
We’ll all be happy when this section of U.S. 19 is done, scheduled for later this year. It won’t be soon enough for these businesses.
— The other day I ran this photo of me leaning against a Welcome to Citrus County sign. For fun…a Just Wright Citrus attaboy/attagirl for whoever knows where that sign is planted. Hint: I found it by accident.
— The mystery of the intense shoulder pain is solved. Turns out the culprit is arthritis in my neck.
“But you’re too young for arthritis!” I hear you say.
And I TOTALLY agree. Turns out this arthritis is somewhat common among folks my age which, for the sake of transparency, I’ll narrow down to somewhere between 39 and 64.
Anyway, glad to know what I’m dealing with so I can attack it. The pain sidelined me several days the past two weeks and I wasn’t happy. I can’t write about what’s going on in Citrus County simply by attending county commission meetings and looking at email.
It’s the people and places of our community that drive this blog. I can’t forget that.
This is Manatee Festival weekend. A great time to celebrate the beauty of our little piece of paradise.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.