Happy Friday everyone!
Over along the Gulf coast, Crystal River is home to the Florida Manatee Festival this weekend. It's the 31st year for the event featuring music on two stages, food, and a big kids zone. While you're there you'll have a chance to take a free bus tour to Three Sisters Springs where you can watch the manatees. Local boat operators, for a fee, will have 30 minute tours of Kings Bay, as well. The festival is Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 9 to 4 in downtown Crystal River.
If you'd like to catch a show, a couple of area theatres are featuring their latest productions. At the Hippodrome, The Royale is a drama inspired by the true story of Jack Johnson. He was the first African-American World Heavyweight Champion. Shows are tonight at 8, Saturday at 5 and 8:30 pm, and Sunday at 2 and 7 pm. It runs through February 11th. Over at the Ocala Civic Theatre, I Love a Piano is a celebration of the music of composer Irving Berlin. It features more than 60 of his songs. Shows are tonight and Saturday at 8 pm, with a matinee Sunday at 2. It continues through February 4th.
The Reitz Union over at UF is host to the annual SwampCon this weekend. The multi-genre convention got its start in 2011 and has been a popular event since... tripling its attendance. It's THE event this weekend for you if you're into gaming, anime, comics and sci-fi. Expect costume contests, discussion panels and a lot more. It's Saturday and Sunday on the UF campus.
If you love car shows, you might want to head to Silver Springs Saturday. The park is hosting it's 24th annual Ford and Mustang Round Up. At the event you'll see hundreds of Fords, from stock to souped up... old to new. Several manufacturers will be there showing off their latest products. And there'll be music and a bounce house for the kids. The Ford and Mustang Round Up is 10 am to 4 pm at Silver Springs.
Finally, the Gator gymnasts are back in the Odome for their first home meet of the season.... taking on LSU starting at 6:45 tonight.
Enjoy your weekend!