Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Blueberry festival will get financial help; fair must give more details

BROOKSVILLE — The Florida Blueberry Festival will get a helping hand from the Hernando County Commission for its third annual event April 12-13 in downtown Brooksville.

Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to grant the festival $14,000 for part of closing two state roads downtown. The county also agreed to waive fees for permits, facility use and county vehicle use and to allow alcohol sales.

The festival will also benefit from $5,000 in marketing dollars from the Tourist Development Council.

Cliff Manuel, president of the Brooksville Vision Foundation, told commissioners that last year's festivities brought in a small profit — about $39,000.

Hernando County Fair organizers got a more lukewarm reaction Tuesday to their request for $20,000 to help market this year's fair and for a $10,000 waiver of dumping fees.

Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes said that, given the size of the request, he wanted to see more details of what the Hernando County Fair Association plans to do with the money.

Commissioner Nick Nicholson, whose former wife, Sandra, has been affiliated with the fair for years, urged the commission to be equitable in dealing with funding requests. If one group that brings visitors to the county gets its request approved, then others should be approved, he said.

"We're not here to subsidize nonpublic endeavors with public money,'' Commissioner Diane Rowden said.

She suggested instead some sort of formal public-private agreement.

Rowden also expressed concerns about the fair association's financial information, including monetary losses and the fact that the group had set aside no money for replacement of equipment.

Sandra Nicholson, past president of the fair association, said the fair would be grateful for any help it could get and the dumping fee waiver.

"We're not asking for the moon,'' she said.

Commissioners agreed to have fair association officials meet with tourism and other county officials to prepare a more detailed request for the board to consider.

The county fair will run April 4-12.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Last year, the Florida Blueberry Festival in downtown Brooksville showed a profit of $39,000. An incorrect figure appeared in an article published Wednesday.

Blueberry festival will get financial help; fair must give more details 01/28/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014 12:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings


    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee
  2. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  3. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  4. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  5. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.