fiddle, food and friends
The 23rd-annual Will McLean Music Festival kicks off at noon March 9 and continues until 6 p.m. March 11 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, south of Spring Lake. Weekend tickets are $32 in advance, $37 at the gate; children 12 and younger admitted free. Camping is $22 a night. Call (352) 465-7208 or visit willmclean.com.
Dr. Seuss celebration: The Hernando Classroom Teachers Association will present "Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss" from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. The event is part of the National Education Association's "Read Across America" reading motivation and awareness program. It will include a parade, children's games and activities, vendors and promotions. Regular park admission applies: $13 adults, $8 for ages 6 to 12, free for ages 5 and younger. Call (352) 592-5656 or visit weekiwachee.com.
Variety show benefit: A benefit concert featuring the Country Clay Kirk Variety Show and Friends will be Saturday at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209, 14736 Edward R. Noll Drive, Spring Hill. Doors open at 4 p.m.; a baked ziti dinner will be served at 5 p.m., followed by the show. Along with Kirk, the show includes singers Arthur Haywood, Mikey B., Morgin Nicole, Danielle Pacifico and Velvet Leonard. Tickets are $10, available at the door. Proceeds will go toward the replacement of the VFW's air-conditioning units, which were destroyed by thieves, as well as for installation of a security system. Call the post at (352) 796-0398.
Celebrate reading: The Hernando County Reading Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Nature Coast Technical High School, 4057 California St., south of Brooksville. The free event includes food, games and door prizes. Scheduled children's authors include 10-year-old Madeline Joan Wilks, author of Yellow Dot, Red Dot, and Nancy Stewart, author of Sea Turtle Summer. Other events include John Storm's "World of Reptiles" at 10:30 a.m., CoREADian (a.k.a. Jiggleman) at 11:30 a.m. and storyteller Windell Campbell at 12:30 p.m. Goody bags given to the first 300 children. Call (352) 797-7018.
Party in the Swamp: The Weeki Wachee Swamp Festival kicks off with a carnival from 4 to 10 p.m. today at Linda Pedersen Park at Jenkins Creek, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. Festival hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, with the carnival continuing from noon to 10 p.m. both days. Admission is $3; children 12 and younger admitted free. For information, call (352) 596-3757 or (352) 597-4424, or visit swampfestweekiwachee.com.
Beyond barbershop: A concert featuring the Orlando-based musical group 4:2:Five will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Brookridge Clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St., Brookridge. Drawing on funk, rock, jazz and blues, the barbershop group re-creates an instrumental band with nothing but their voices. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door or by calling Vivian and Larry Schmitz at (352) 610-4901.
Strawberries galore: The 25th-annual Floral City Strawberry Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Floral Park, 9530 S Parkside Ave., Floral City. The event will feature shortcake and other strawberry delights, more than 200 fine art and craft booths, continuous live entertainment, contests, pageants and children's activities. Admission is $3; free for ages 11 and younger. (352) 795-3149.