Community Calendar for the week of January 3

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Camellia show this weekend

The Gainesville Camellia Society hosts its 37th Annual Camellia Show at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, 4700 S.W. 58th Drive, Gainesville, on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

There will be hundreds of dazzling camellia blooms on display in vivid reds, radiant pinks, beautiful variegations, and glorious whites in sizes from very large to miniatures. After competing for awards, the blooms will be on display at the two-day show.  There is no charge to see the camellia show, but there is a regular admission charge to enter Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.  There is plenty of free parking, and the building is wheelchair accessible.

American Camellia Society certified judges start the judging process at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.  The various categories of blooms, and the "weighted" judging system approved by the ACS, along with local classes will enable the amateur grower to compete on an even basis with experienced and professional growers. 

The plant sale is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and will remain open until all plants have been sold. The proceeds are used by the Gainesville Camellia Society to provide education and information about the camellia in the Gainesville area.

The Gainesville Camellia Society meets the third Sunday of each month from September through March at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.  The December and May meetings are pot-luck dinner meetings, often at a member’s house.  For more information, call Patrick Andrews at 352-595-3365.




Beginning Throwing with Clay class 

There will be a Beginning Throwing with Clay class at the Cedar Key Arts Center in January from Monday, Jan. 7-Monday, Jan. 14. 

If you are interested, sign up at the Cedar KeyHole downstairs, or call Amy at 352-215-2096. 




County Spelling Bee

The Levy County District Spelling Bee will be Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 9:45 a.m. at the Bronson High School Cafeteria. 

The winners in grades 4 through 8 from individual bees held in Levy County schools will be competing for the title of district champion and the opportunity to compete in the Big Bend Regional Spelling Bee on Feb. 9 in Tallahassee. From there, the regional winners are eligible to compete at the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. 


January 12


Winter Library Speaker Series

On Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10:30 a. m., Pegeen Hanrahan, former Gainesville mayor, will speak at the Cedar Key Library on behalf of Florida's Water and Land Legacy, Inc.  The Water and Land Legacy campaign is seeking to gather signatures to have a voter initiative conservation amendment placed on the Florida 2014, election ballot.

The primary goal of this amendment would require the state to designate a specified percentage of the revenues collected under Florida's Real Estate Doc Stamp Program into the state’s conservation budget.  These programs include parks, recreation, hunting, fishing, land acquisition and management, aquaculture, springs, clean water initiatives, restoration, etc.  Over the last 20 years, these programs have received high priority; however, since 2009, the legislature has slashed funding for these programs by 97.5 percent.

The Cedar Key tourist industry and aquaculture industry have derived tremendous benefit from the pure water and vast undeveloped public and private land which surrounds the tiny island community.  In the past, Cedar Key has pioneered in water quality initiatives.  (But make no mistake, change is coming to Northwest Central Florida.)

So plan ahead, mark your calendar and plan to be at this informative event.  (Hopefully, Cedar Key will show vigorous and unanimous support for this much needed amendment.)


January 19


Manatee Awareness Month program

Manatee Springs State Park will host a variety of featured guests on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of its celebration of Manatee Awareness Month. 

With the cooler weather, the featured guest will be the manatee, along with partners in manatee protection awareness, education and enforcement. Various agencies will have booths set up so visitors can enjoy learning about the Gentle Giants and how to protect them.

The Manatee Spring, the head spring at Manatee Springs State Park, emits mineral-rich water at a constant 72 degrees which provides a warm water haven for the manatee when other bodies of waters' temperatures decrease below 68 degrees. 

Activities for Saturday program are free with a paid park admission in January. For more information  call the park at 352-493-6072 or visit  www.FloridaStateParks.org. 

Manatee Springs State Park is at 11650 N.W. 115th St., Chiefland.


January 26


Moonlight Paddle at Manatee park

Manatee Springs State Park will host a moonlight paddle event on the Suwannee River starting at 5:45 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26. The paddle will start at Manatee Springs State Park, 11650 N.W. 115th St., Chiefland.

Participants will learn about the history of the river while enjoying the beautiful scenery by moonlight. The park’s Citizen Support Organization will provide a short program following the moonlight paddle. Light refreshments will be served.

To reserve a rental kayak for $20 or canoe for $30 through Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures, call 571-230-0906. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring bottled water, a flashlight and whistle. Children under the age of six and pets are not allowed due to safety. Park entrance fees of $6 per carload of up to eight people will apply. For more information, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org.

Other moonlight paddles will be at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23.

For more information, call Melissa LeMatty at 352-493-6072 or Joleen Dudley at 352-493-6736.


February 2


Fair organizers looking for donations

The Levy County Fair Association will be having its annual yard sale fund-raiser on Saturday, Feb. 2,  at 8 a.m. at Keeping It Green Nursery on the corner of North Main Street and Northeast 2nd Avenue in Williston, across from Williston General Dentistry.  

Organizers are looking for donations for the yard sale and encourage early spring cleaning.

The Levy County Fair Association is a non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.

Volunteers will also pick up and/or move your donations. Call Marc at 352-538-5551 to make arrangements.

The Fair will be April 11-14 at the Williston Airport Industrial Park,  across from the Williston Horseman’s Park.

Visit  and click on the Creative Arts link to see all the Creative Arts categories from baking & food preservation, to sewing and hobby crafts.  There will also be a complete livestock show, full midway, attractions, games, exhibitions and  food.