Make us your home page
Instagram

Second Florida Blueberry Festival deemed a success

BROOKSVILLE — This past weekend's second annual Florida Blueberry Festival in Brooksville had a lot riding on it. Not only was it a calling card to potential visitors from all over Central Florida, but also it had to make a profit to return in the future.

It turns out, the event was a winner on both counts, said Michael Heard, chairwoman of Florida Blueberry Festival Inc.

A preliminary tally of gate receipts showed that festival pulled in between 45,000 and 50,000 visitors during its two days, she said. That should ensure a profit that will be divided between chosen charities.

"We're feeling very positive about how we did," Heard said Monday. "The vendors I talked to were pleased and told us they want to come back again next year."

Despite the threat of showers Saturday morning, the festival gates opened to a crowd eager to enter downtown Brooksville and munch on baked blueberry goods and shop at the booths of about 140 vendors.

Brooksville Mayor Lara Bradburn said many of the visitors commented on the city's attractiveness.

"I don't care who you are, when someone from out of town tells you they love your city, it makes you feel proud," Bradburn said.

Heard said she heard only a few complaints about the festival's new $5 adult admission charge and that most visitors seemed to feel it was in line with what other events of its type.

"People who don't understand probably don't know that it costs a lot of money to put this together," Heard said. "We couldn't continue to do this if we went broke every year."

Heard said that many of the people who attended complimented her volunteer staff on this year's changes. Most people seemed glad they could park closer to the downtown Brooksville. And the elimination of last year's "Blueberry Bucks," which patrons needed to buy food and beverages, probably accounted for an increase in sales, Heard said.

Heard said she and the festival have already looked at implementing more improvements next year, including re-routing the festival grounds to a more level area in order to better accommodate handicapped patrons.

"We're only in our second year, so there's always room for improvement," Heard said. "We're committed to make the blueberry festival the best we can make it."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Second Florida Blueberry Festival deemed a success 05/06/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 6, 2013 10:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  2. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  4. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran wants the Constitu?tion Revision Commis?sion to ask voters to repeal the state’s system of partial financing of statewide elections.
  5. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — When Miami developer Jorge Perez first eyed a 4.2-acre tract on the west bank of the Hillsborough River two years ago, people asked him if he wouldn't prefer to build on the opposite side closer to the downtown core.

    No way.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]