Fill the weekend with four enjoyable, educational and gastronomic events on Florida’s Nature Coast.
On January 18, at 6p.m., the non-profit group Friends of Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve (FWGP) is hosting one of its most popular free educational programs offered at the Yankeetown, Fla., preserve throughout the year. The Chiefland Star Party Group is presenting a telescopic view of the stars and planets beginning with a laser show of the constellations.
The group makes several large telescopes available for viewing multiple objects including the bands on Jupiter and its moons. The date means a late rising moon will give little night light interference for better stargazing conditions and the preserve’s very low artificial lighting adds to the experience.
For safety reasons the FWGP recommends arriving to sign in before sunset and to bring the following items:
- A flashlight
- A piece of red tissue paper to dim the flashlight
- Bug spray
In the event of cloudy conditions the group will provide a Power Point presentation.
On January 19 from 10a.m. to 8p.m., the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Inglis and the Inglis Recreation Committee are presenting the inaugural Inglis Music Festival.
Featuring renowned bluegrass musicians Mark Newton and Steve Thomas, the festival includes:
- 10a.m. to 2p.m. an open mike for local talent
- 11a.m. a workshop for basic frailing guitar instruction with Mark Johnson
- 12p.m. a workshop for fiddle, mandolin and guitar with Steve Thomas
- Local food vendors, arts, crafts and a raffle
At 2p.m. the concert begins featuring:
- Ron Pearson
- Treble Hook
- West Coast Bluegrass Band
- Wry Whiskey
- Back Water with special guest Mark Johnson
- A featured performance by Mark Newton and Steve Thomas
“Our Mayor James Williams must be credited for coming up with the idea for what he wants to see as an annual event for the community and our neighbors,” says recreational committee member Marian Matchette. She emphasized the committee and sound man Lee Paulet are a great team to work with. The organizers recommend bringing lawn chairs or a blanket to this free event at Inglis Central Park behind the Town Hall.
On January 19 from 11a.m. to 1p.m., the Yankeetown-Inglis Woman’s Club will be holding a Soup-A-Thon and Bake Sale at the clubhouse on 56th Street in Yankeetown. The event offers all you can eat for $7 and the opportunity to vote for the Best Soup Chef in the area.
The best soup prizes to be awarded are:
- First - $50
- Second - $25
- Third - $10
Along with the soups the ladies of the Club are selling homemade goodies and the thrift shop will be open.
On January 19 - 20, from 9a.m. to 5p.m. Saturday and 9a.m. to 4p.m. Sunday, celebrate the 26th Annual Florida Manatee Festival in downtown Crystal River. For a donation of $3 and free entry for children of 12 years and under, enjoy the opportunity of learning more about the endangered manatee and shop from over 200 exhibitors and vendors. A free shuttle service will be provided from parking at the Crystal River Mall.
The two-day event features:
- Manatee Education area featuring posters made by local students and continuous movies providing manatee awareness
- Crafts and jewelry
- Live entertainment
- The Jimmy Buffet sound-alike contest (Saturday)
- Three Sisters Springs open house on Saturday from 9a.m. to 4p.m. and a free shuttle service from the festival to the springs and back
- Boat tours on the waters of Kings Bay to view manatees in their natural environment (additional nominal fee)
- A beer and wine garden hosting a live band, big screen televisions showing the weekend football games and wine provided by a local winery
- Children accompanied by an adult can participate in games, a rock climbing wall, bounce house, pony rides and educational activities on the grounds behind the Crystal River City Hall, hosted this year by Childhood Development Services