Brooksville's Olde Tyme Celebration is Saturday's salute to the Fourth
BROOKSVILLE — Sipping on root beer floats and participating in sack races. Eating hot dogs and sitting on a blanket to watch fireworks.
This was considered a perfect way to celebrate the Fourth of July more than 50 years ago. And — if the weather cooperates — families can re-create that atmosphere when the Hernando County Fair Association presents an Olde Tyme Celebration on Saturday at the Hernando County Fairgrounds.
"We've been so worried about the weather," Mona Simpson-Premorel, fair association vice president, said this week as Tropical Storm Debby caused flooding throughout Hernando County. "We had no damage, but it's been real soggy. Hopefully we'll get a day to dry out, with some good, hot sunshine."
Regardless, Simpson-Premorel has a good feeling that this weekend's inaugural event will be a hit.
It kicks off with a pancake breakfast, to be followed by old-fashioned games such as sack races, water games and egg races.
"We want the new generation to learn some of the real old-time games we did as kids," Simpson-Premorel said.
There will also be a dunk tank, where folks will have a chance to soak local politicians and other notable members of the community.
The fair association will handle all of the cooking and will offer hot dogs, hamburgers, a sundae bar and refreshments. Most items will be $1, including the sundaes. A meal of a hot dog, chips and soda will be $2. The pancake breakfast will also be $2.
"We're trying to make it reasonable for families," Simpson-Premorel said, "so families can spend the day and not spend a fortune."
Those interested may also enter a corn hole contest that will have $500 in prizes. There will be about 30 vendors on site.
Musical entertainment will kick off at 1 p.m. with the Hernando Youth Orchestra performing The Star-Spangled Banner. There will be cloggers performing at about 4 p.m., and in the evening the Terry Cole Show will entertain with Southern rock and country music.
The day will end with fireworks. The display will start at about 9:15 p.m., and people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
"We want this to be a real community-type event," Simpson-Premorel said, "and for everyone to have a really good time. ... If it is successful, hopefully this will become an annual event."
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And if that's not enough …
Saturday's Olde Tyme Celebration at the Hernando County Fairgrounds is the first of several Independence Day events in Hernando County.
• High Point Community July Fourth Parade. The line up starts at 8:30 a.m. at the community bus stop near Cortez Boulevard. The parade begins at 9 and ends at the community center at 12249 Clubhouse Road. At the adjacent High Point Golf Club, food and beverages will be served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Music will be provided by John Conroy. For information, call Sylvia at (352) 596-6006.
• Fourth of July Machine Gun Shoot, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hernando Sportsman's Club, 16121 Commercial Way, north of Weeki Wachee. Those who own machine guns can participate for $20. Several cars, trucks and assorted targets will be destroyed. Spectator admission is $2; youth younger than 15 are admitted free. For information, call (352) 597-9931 or visit hernando
The following events are planned in neighboring Pasco, Citrus and Sumter counties:
• Friendly Kia Fest/Main Street Blast, 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sims Park, downtown New Port Richey. Food, entertainment, arts and crafts, kids activities (including a water slide), Miss Firecracker contest and fireworks. Music includes headliner Draw the Line, an Aerosmith tribute band, plus Jam Sandwich, Circle Sky and That '70s Band. Free. For information, call (727) 842-8066.
• Shady Hills Family Funfest, 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Shady Hills Community Center and park, 15840 Greenglen Lane, Shady Hills. Includes live music, professional wrestling, a bounce house and giant slide for children, face painting, games and tournaments for kids and adults. Food and drinks available. For information, call (352) 835-2250.
• Patriotic Evening, 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Liberty and Wallace Brook parks in downtown Inverness. Fireworks, concessions and children's activities. Parking and admission are free. For information, call the city of Inverness at (352) 726-2611 or send email to
• Freedom Festival, 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. There will be a bicycle parade, contests and prizes, a band competition, shopping and dining specials, and a Grand Finale Show starting at 9 p.m.
• Sparklebration, an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration hosted by the Pasco County Fair Association, will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City. There will be concessions, eating contests and activities for the kids. Entertainment will include musical guests Ken "Elvis" Grube, Dennis Lee, Nashville recording artist Ashley Shannon and Borderline. Skydivers from Skydive City in Zephyrhills drop in at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:30. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and younger get free admission. Parking is $5.
• Patriotic Family Fun Day, 4 to 8 p.m. July 6, Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell. There will be a bike and pet parade, relay races and games, barbecue food, hand-cranked ice cream and activities for all ages. Free entry into the park. Call (352) 793-4781 or visit floridastate
>>if you go
Olde Tyme Celebration
When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 S Broad St., Brooksville.
Cost: Admission/parking is $5 per carload. No alcohol; coolers and outside food and beverages will not be permitted.
Information: Call (352) 796-4552.