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East County Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 5 years ago

Mixon celebrates harvest season

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Citrus grower Mixon Fruit Farms is celebrating the harvest season with a special community event this weekend — its annual Harvest Festival.

This year’s event starts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16, with an author book signing, at the orange grove located 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton.

The festival’s main activities will follow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. Attendees can peruse more than 70 arts-and-crafts booths, feast on a variety of food — including Amish doughnuts — and enjoy family-friendly activities such as live musical and dance performances, rock climbing, bounce houses, tram tours through the orange grove and more.

Local authors being featured at the book signing Friday include Bill Mixon, who helped his parents start Mixon Fruit Farms in 1939, and fellow authors Liam McAuley, Carole Stevens Bibisi, Ruth Fishel and Diane Robertson.

“We’re really big into making memories,” said Janet Mixon, who co-owns the business with her husband, Dean. “It’s easy to get to (here). We try to provide a nice, clean atmosphere for people to bring their families. We have something for everybody.

“(Our location) used to be way out east,” she said. “Now, it’s considered in town. When we decided to buy (the farm) from the rest of the family, we wanted to do something with the community. We wanted it to be a big part of what we do.”

Parking and entry to the festival is free. Many activities, including watching performances, are free of charge. Costs for individual activities, such as inflatables and pony rides, will be determined by individual vendors. Hour-long tram tours of Mixon’s orange grove, which includes a stop at Mixon’s wildlife refuge, cost $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Until five years ago, Mixons was closed all summer, opening in November for the harvest season. It now is open year-round.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

Mixon Harvest Festival
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 and Nov. 18
Where: Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton.
Details: Author signing event is Nov. 16. Main festival activities, including dance and music performances, rock climbing, tram tours, arts-and-crafts and food vendors and more, runs Nov. 17 and Nov. 18.

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