Skip to main content
Sheri Gooby, event coordinator at Mixon Fruit Farms, and Janet Mixon, the farm’s co-owner, show off orange blossoms, which started sprouting in early February, in the citrus grove.
East County Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 4 years ago

Blossoms, fragrance come early this year

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

EAST COUNTY — The best-smelling fair around will smell fruitier than ever this year. That’s because attendees at Mixon Fruit Farm’s fifth annual Orange Blossom Festival, which takes place March 2 to March 3, will find orange blossoms further along in their bloom than usual.

Warm weather forced the small white flowers and their five waxy petals to start blooming in early February, three to four weeks earlier than usual, signaling impending oranges.

The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, with live entertainment from The World Famous Wallendas and Yesterdayze; and crafts and food from more than 90 vendors and 45-minute orange blossom tram rides.

Entry and parking for the festival is free.

Tickets for activities, such as pony rides, bungee jumping and rock climbing, can be purchased on site.
Mixon will also show off antique farming equipment in the farm’s citrus grove.

Janet Mixon, who owns Mixon Fruit Farms with her husband, Dean, says in the old days, farmers used to celebrate the birth of the crop.

The orange blossoms RSVP’d early this year.

“On the orange blossom tram tour, you will be able to really smell it,” Mixon said.

The festival extends later into the month with other related events.

March 8 brings the Health & Business Fair, with free health screenings, paper shredding and a blood mobile.

Goodwill and the Food Bank of Manatee will be there accepting donations.

And, more than 10 local authors will sign their books March 9, at the farm’s Groveside Market.

Both of those days also offer free admission and parking.

But, most of all, this annual festival celebrates the arrival of the orange blossom.

In Victorian lore, brides sought bouquets and tiaras made with fragrant orange blossoms.

Because blossoms can bear flowers and produce fruit, they are said to represent fertility.

The Mixons hope the event’s expected 5,000 to 6,000 attendees enjoy themselves and smell some of the fruits of their labor.

“This festival is really a chance to do something fun you normally wouldn’t do,” Mixon said.

Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].

Mixon Fruit Farms Orange Blossom Festival
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 2 and March 3
Where: Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th St. E, Bradenton
What: Features include live entertainment from The World Famous Wallendas and Yesterdayze; crafts and food from more than 90 vendors; 45-minute orange blossom tram rides; rock climbing; pony rides and more.
Cost: Free parking and entry

Entertainment lineup:
March 2
10 to 10:30 a.m. —Wakeland Instrumentals
11:30 a.m. — Wakeland Dance Group
12:30 and 1:30 p.m. — Starfire Dancers
2 to 5 p.m. — Yesterdayze Band

March 3
10:30 a.m. — Southeast Orchestra
11 a.m. — Southeast Guitar Ensemble
12:30 and 1:30 p.m. — Starfire Dancers
2 to 5 p.m. — Yesterdayze Band

Related Stories