Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Community and Family Fun Festival in Brooksville offers help for parents

BROOKSVILLE — What parent or anyone responsible for a child hasn't raised eyes heavenward at some time and pleaded, "Somebody help me!"

In need of help or not, a wealth of information about local services that are available for infants to middle-schoolers — as well as hands-on activities for those youngsters — will be served up free at Saturday's 21st annual Community and Family Fun Festival.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jerome Brown Community Center, 99 Jerome Brown Place, near Tom Varn Park. It celebrates the national Week of the Young Child. Last year, more than 2,000 visitors took advantage of the Hernando festival.

With some 45 organizations staffing indoor booths and tables this year, Penny Oliver, recreation specialist at the county Parks and Recreation Department, said the purpose of the event is "to bring awareness to families of all the great organizations that we have and help them to better the children's lives."

Children are the target audience, Oliver said, adding, "It's not (aimed at) poor families, but anyone who can benefit from what these organizations offer, for any and all families that have needs."

Services to be showcased range from day care and Head Start programs to behavioral health counseling, civic efforts to meet the wants of needy children, child safety awareness and educational opportunities.

While adults pick up informational brochures and talk with service providers, staffers at each booth will offer to children such hands-on activities as making hats from newspapers and necklaces from noodles, crafting decorated doorknob hangers, making buttons, coloring and painting.

Always popular are Sheriff's Office demonstrations, including how to collect crime scene evidence and fingerprints; a mounted unit of civilians on horseback who assist in searches and with parking at events, and a motorcycle unit showing off its work in dealing with traffic issues and accidents.

The Florida Highway Patrol will demonstrate what happens in a vehicle accident when passengers are wearing seat belts and when they're not.

Children also can examine a fire truck and an ambulance, romp in a bounce house, have their faces painted, watch Tony the Balloon Guy create balloon sculptures and be entertained by Kevin the Pirate.

Refreshments of hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks, bottled water, popcorn and snow cones will be available for 50 cents each, thanks to local sponsors providing them at discounts, Oliver said.

The festival is organized by the county Parks and Recreation Department, with major sponsors including Publix Supermarkets, Kids Central Inc., Devereux Florida, the state Department of Children and Family Services and the St. Petersburg Times.

Beth Gray can be contacted at

If you go

The 21st annual Week of the Young Child Community and Family Fun Festival will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Jerome Brown Community Center, off W Jefferson Street near Tom Varn Park in Brooksville. For information, visit or call (352) 540-6363.

Community and Family Fun Festival in Brooksville offers help for parents 03/25/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 25, 2010 8:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation


    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead


    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.