Tuesday, April 24, 2018
News Roundup

Candy Cane Acres moves to Hernando County Fairgrounds

BROOKSVILLE

To get into the Christmas spirit, many people climb into their vehicles and drive through neighborhoods, stopping at homes with large and unique holiday displays.

In recent years, thousands have been drawn to the home of John and Kay Neuman, on the north side of Brooksville, which featured more than 80,000 lights, plus ornaments and displays, on their 2 1/2 acres. Known as Candy Cane Acres, it was one of the largest displays on the North Suncoast.

The bad news: There will be no display at the residence this year.

The good news: Candy Cane Acres has taken up residence at the Hernando County Fairgrounds. Starting today, visitors will be able to view the display — and much more — each weekend through the end of December.

"It is just amazing," said Sandra Nicholson, president of the Hernando County Fair Association. "There is just so much stuff."

The collection includes displays not found in local stores, much of it constructed by the Neumans, including a 6-foot-tall carousel with horses; a rotating Ferris wheel; a 25-foot-long, six-piece train, and an 8-foot angel whose wings move.

"I built about 80 percent of it," John Neuman said.

He said he would build the displays over the years, and his wife, Kay, would decorate. The alternative, he said, was to spend a lot of money.

"It's very expensive to buy, so I did it myself. ... I taught myself to weld."

Nicholson said that earlier this year the fair board considered offering a Christmas event for the community but found it would cost nearly $25,000.

Then, shortly after that, the board learned that the Neumans were interested in selling their enormous Christmas collection.

"The timing was weird," Nicholson admits.

Originally planned to be a drive-through light display, the event is now a walk-through display and Christmas village. It combines the fair association's and the Neumans' collections. The display has approximately 100,000 lights that will dance to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music, made possible with an MP3 player hooked up to three controller boxes.

The village will include Santa's workshop, carolers and "Florida-style" sleigh rides. There also will be a bubble machine that will spit out "Florida snow."

Inside the Jackson Building will be Mrs. Claus' kitchen, a parade of trees, children's games and photos with Santa. There will also be refreshments available, such as hot chocolate, eggnog and soda, as well as fudge and cookies.

With just a handful of volunteers, Nicholson said putting the event together has been a lot of work, but everything seems to be coming together. The Neumans, she said, have helped out, teaching the volunteers how to put everything together.

"We couldn't have done it without them," Nicholson said.

Nicholson said volunteers are always appreciated and, after the holidays, donations of additional decorations will be welcome.

"This (event) is something we definitely want to add on to every year," she said.

As for the Neumans, the transition is somewhat bittersweet.

"In a way, it's sad to see it go," John Neuman said. "But we're extremely happy it will still be in the area."

Comments
Forecast: After storms produce damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

Forecast: After storms produce damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Forecasters said rain could fall on Monday before conditions cleared, leaving drier air and less humidity behind.That rain moved through Ruskin with a vengeance Monday night, and produced a treacherous early-morning commute for resid...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Missing Wesley Chapel boy, 12, found safe

Missing Wesley Chapel boy, 12, found safe

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been cancelled for a 12-year-old boy in Wesley Chapel.Tyshawn Govan has been located and is safe, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The boy had last been seen Monday night near the 2200 block of Marsh Vi...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Waffle House shooter’s guns were seized but then returned

Waffle House shooter’s guns were seized but then returned

Travis Reinking exhibited multiple warning signs that he was mentally unstable: He talked openly about delusions that he was being stalked by Taylor Swift. He insisted unknown people were making barking noises outside his home. He even went to the Wh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Brad Marchand might be the ultimate pest, but he's not the original.Not even in his own family.The Boston Bruins left wing writes in a first-person story published last week in The Players' Tribune that he got his inspiration from his younger br...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Willy Adames, the Rays top position player prospect, touched all the bases in hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Durham's Monday's win over Buffalo.Adames doubled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, tripled in the sixth and completed the rare f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: A Murphy-Jolly gubernatorial run?; ALF residents’ deplorable conditions; committee to pick pier art; Lightning must wait to learn opponent

The Daystarter: A Murphy-Jolly gubernatorial run?; ALF residents’ deplorable conditions; committee to pick pier art; Lightning must wait to learn opponent

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.   • Give thanks for drier air. There is a small rain chance this morning, but things dry out by the afternoon, according to 10Weather WTSP. Beats yesterday’s humidity. The...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

So much of the attention Monday surrounding the Bucs' announcing who'd be announcing their late-round draft picks was, of course, that a parrot would be delivering the name of the fourth-round pick to the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.But late...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL Draft: Date, time, TV schedule and draft order for the April 26-28 draft

NFL Draft: Date, time, TV schedule and draft order for the April 26-28 draft

The NFL Draft starts Thursday from Arlington, Texas, with coverage of the first round beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Here's a look at the broadcast schedule for all three days and the draft order for every round:Schedule(all times Eastern)Thursday, April 26...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

St. Pete Pier public arts committee to meet with finalists, make decision

ST. PETERSBURG — The pier public arts committee is expected to decide today which artist or artists will have their work showcased in the new 26-acre Pier District. The committee, which selected six finalists with the help of consultant Ann Wykell, w...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Twin sisters from Tampa helping shape Fox’s ‘Empire’ say they’d like to tell Tampa stories

Twin sisters from Tampa helping shape Fox’s ‘Empire’ say they’d like to tell Tampa stories

JaNeika and JaSheika James’ television obsession was fueled by scarcity and convenience. As self-described "military brats" living in Germany, the girls treasured the VHS tapes their grandmother shipped overseas filled with English-language Saturday ...
Updated: 2 hours ago