SPRING HILL — Back in 1991, there weren't that many community festivals in Hernando County. But the parishioners of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, who were planning to launch a new event, were sure of one thing: People love to eat.
Couple that notion with the fact that Spring Hill is made up of residents from every ethnic background and you begin to see why the church's annual Ethnic Festival — which started as a small potluck affair — has become such a huge community hit.
The festival, which kicked off Thursday, continues at 5 p.m. today and runs through Sunday at the church, at 13485 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill.
Entertainment chairwoman Joyce Thorpe said organizers are proud that the festival has something to offer everyone.
"It's one place you can go where you don't have to be afraid to go," Thorpe said. "No matter how old you are, you can come and spend the day and never be bored."
Foodies will find a menu that includes gyros, pizza, sausage with onions and peppers, bratwurst sandwiches, cannolis, cheesecakes and other treats.
"A lot of it is wonderful homemade food that's made from family recipes in people's kitchens," Thorpe said.
For the younger crowd, there are more than two dozen carnival rides and skill games.
And for those who like to do a little bargain hunting, there is an indoor flea market, known as Second Hand Rose, which will be open daily.
In addition, Thorpe has lined up live music and dance throughout the weekend.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.