Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville couldn't afford it, so Kiwanis saves Christmas parade

BROOKSVILLE — For a time this year, the future of the Christmas parade appeared in doubt after the main sponsor, the city of Brooksville, pared its budget for civic events.

But the secondary sponsor, the Brooksville Kiwanis Club, has filled the void, and so the 34th edition of the parade will step off on Dec. 13.

"We're going to see that the parade goes on as usual," club pub licist Karen Beasley said this week.

The parade will form at 10 a.m. at Hernando High School and proceed west on Oakwood Drive, south on Howell Avenue and Main Street, then east on Broad Street, ending at Bell Avenue.

"We're having to pay a bunch of money, but we do it for the benefit of the community,'' Beaseley said. "We've anticipated this coming. It started last year. We've been prepared. There are other ways to cut back on costs."

For instance, the club is saving some $100 in postage, instead of mailing out applications, by asking parade participants to register online at its Web site,

Kiwanis International is paying the club's parade permit fees.

Nonetheless, the event will tap some $7,000 to $8,000 from the club, said president Ron Wheeles.

The greatest cost is for printed programs, which will be distributed to each of some 2,000 estimated participants and some 10,000 attendees, said Beasley.

Wheeles guessed there will be 15,000 parade watchers. He expects much of the printing cost will be offset by advertisements in the program.

Also, said Wheeles, "We paid the city $1,000 last time (for security and police guards at street crossings). We're hoping it will be about the same this year."

In addition, the club's tab will include the cost of televising the parade on the county government channel.

Kiwanis parade chairman Robert Watts anticipates 120-130 floats plus fire/rescue units, Brooksville police, sheriff's deputies and mounted posse, Florida Highway Patrol, church groups, veterans organizations, Shriners, Scout groups, clubs and civic organizations along with all the high school bands and color guards.

Marchers will decorate and dress to the theme, "Christmas Around the World," and will be judged on adherence to the theme, creativity and craftsmanship. They already are at work on their entries, Watts said.

Local restaurateur "Papa Joe'' Giarrtana will serve as parade grand marshal, accompanied by his wife, Donna.

It is hoped that the 2008 Great Brooksvillian, Dr. Paul Farmer, will arrive via a fly-in from Haiti, in time to join the parade. He is scheduled to speak in the afternoon from the City Hall steps for a fundraiser, Partners in Health, to which Kiwanis contributes.

While the city last year canceled its parade follow-up festival, the First Baptist Church, Broad Avenue and Howell Street, will have games and activities for children after the parade.

Although organizers don't expect the economy to affect parade participation, Beasley said, "In this economy, this may be one of the biggest things the kids get to enjoy for the Christmas season."

Beth Gray can be contacted at

by the numbers


floats are expected to be in the parade.


people are expected to watch the parade.


is the amount the Brooksville Kiwanis expect to have to pay for parade-related things like programs.

Brooksville couldn't afford it, so Kiwanis saves Christmas parade 11/19/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 21, 2008 5:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  2. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida inspired new group focused on improving how elections are run


    A new group run by two lawyers and veteran Democratic operatives specializing in voter protection efforts is launching a pilot program in Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to work with local elections officials to improve the voting process. Access Democracy, run by …

    Access Democracy wants to improve voter participation and how elections are run
  4. Super Nintendo is coming back to stores, and there's even a new (old) game


    If the overwhelming success of last year's NES Classic is any indication, you may want to get your hands on Nintendo's newly-announced Super NES Classic as soon as it becomes available this fall.

    Super Nintendo plans to release the Super NES Classic Edition.
  5. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame (w/photo gallery)


    Dave Andreychuk said Monday began "business as usual."

    Dave Andreychuk battles Calgary's Andrew Ference during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.