This weekend: The Will McLean Music Festival takes over Sertoma Youth Ranch in Hernando County
Every March, Simmons looks forward to the assemblage of what she calls "good, kind and humble people" who gather to perform and celebrate the legacy of the man known as the father of Florida folk music.
"I think anyone who writes Florida songs does so because they're concerned about educating people about the place they call home," Simmons said. "They want to create awareness and concern, and perhaps inspire people not to take for granted the beauty around them. That's why Will McLean remains such a hero to them."
The festival, a three-day celebration of music, food, crafts, art and fun, has evolved over the past two decades into one of Florida's premier folk events. This year's headliners include Simmons, above, as well as dozens of folk and bluegrass musicians from around the state.
The Will McLean Music Festival runs 12:30 to 11 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Sertoma Youth Ranch, south of Spring Lake on Myers Road, near the Hernando-Pasco county line.