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Fall festival season to kick off

Festivals in Crystal River and Homosassa feature live music, boat tours, carnival rides, arts and crafts and a birding tour for early risers.

By JORGE SANCHEZ, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

CRYSTAL RIVER -- Even though the temperatures don't quite show it yet, it is autumn, and that means that weekend festivals are beginning to make their seasonal appearance.

This weekend's festival scene is highlighted by the annual Discover Your Wildlife Refuge Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office, 1502 SE Kings Bay Drive, Crystal River. The office is next door to Port Paradise hotel.

The festival features free pontoon boat tours of Kings Bay, which is a part of a national wildlife refuge. Manatees and dolphins are often seen during the boat rides.

Kayak tours will be offered from 8 to 10 a.m. and riders can bring their own kayak or use a loaner provided by festival organizers.

For early risers, a bird-watching trip departs at 7:30 a.m. The cost for the birding trip is $20 and registration is required. Call 563-2088.

Admission and parking for the festival are free.

Live music will range from delta blues to Florida folk. The performers are Jim Kelly, 10 a.m.; Shady Tree Pickers and Story Tellers at 11 a.m.; Pete Hennings and Pete Price at noon; Mike Roberts at 1 p.m., Leaving Mississippi, blues, at 2 p.m.; Tom Ellis and Linda Ellis at 3 p.m.

Other weekend festivals include:

ARTS AND CRAFTS: An arts and craft sale will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Lions Club on Homosassa Trail. The sale is sponsored by the Citrus County Civic Association. Call Barbara Pellerin at 621-7586.

OKTOBERFEST: The Citrus Sertoma Club's 23rd annual Oktoberfest begins at 4 p.m. today at the Plantation Inn property at U.S. 19 and Fort Island Trail, Crystal River. Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight today, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $1 per person; under 12 are admitted free.

The Oktoberfest features traditional and contemporary music by DeLeon and carnival rides. Proceeds benefit the Sertoma Speech and Hearing Foundation of Florida Inc.

An arts and crafts festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Crystal River Mall, admission is $1 per person.

-- Jorge Sanchez can be reached at at 860-7313 or

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