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Plenty is still in store at Manatee Festival

Whether you enjoy gazing at antique cars, devouring seafood or listening to music, there is something for everyone at this year's Florida Manatee Festival. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the sixth annual event. The festival started with a wine and cheese party Thursday evening, and the main events will be Saturday and Sunday at the Plantation Inn in Crystal River.

"We are billing this as a family event this year . . . and we are

providing recreation for the community," said Sheree Monroe, executive director at the Crystal River Chamber of Commerce. "So we hope to see everyone come out and support us and have a great time."

Monroe said the highlights of the Manatee Festival will be the associated Fine Arts & Crafts Festival and the entertainment.

The featured artist is Don Mayo. Other displays will include one-of-a kind crafts, such as hand-woven baskets and pottery.

Other local artists showing at the festival include Homer Dimmick, Asa Culver, Jean Audet and Ella Dubois. Their works include watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, mixed-media and metal sculpture.

"People need to come prepared, because we have some of the finest artists from around the state and country exhibiting at our show this weekend," she said.

For those more interested in entertainment, 12 acts are scheduled for the festival. The groups include country-western band Border Line, singer Shirley Frazier, acoustic guitarist Bill Osborn and variety band Indigo Rowe.

"We will have everything from country bands to a magician and a jazz band for the festival,"Monroe said.

The Arts and Crafts Festival is sponsored by the Crystal River Chamber of Commerce and the Citrus Times. For information, call the Chamber at 795-3149.

Besides the Manatee Festival, several other events have been scheduled for the weekend. On Friday, Withlacoochee Vocational Center in Inverness held its third annual Voc Fest. Among other events still to come are a Patriotism Week parade today in Homosassa Springs, and a Recreation Expo today and Sunday in Crystal River.