Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Events

36th re-enactment of Brooksville Raid will be much larger than the original

SPRING HILL — It was nearly 152 years ago when 240 Union soldiers raided Hernando County in July 1864, pillaging and destroying farmland and homes.

While the Civil War invasion caused great devastation, the "battle" itself was minor. Described as more of a skirmish, Union soldiers outnumbered the Confederate "home guard" 3 to 1.

The numbers will be much greater when the 36th annual Brooksville Raid Re-enactment takes place this weekend as more than 1,500 re-enactors and their families converge on the Sand Hill Scout Reservation.

The re-enactment, presented by the Hernando Historical Museum Association and the North Pinellas County Scout Sertoma Club, will include hundreds of Confederate and Union soldiers battling with 28 cannons and 60 horses.

"The true skirmish was nothing like the re-enactment," admits event chairman Ron Daniel. "In fact, there were very few casualties, if any."

The ultimate outcome will also vary this weekend.

"One day the Union soldiers will win; the next it will be the Confederates," said Joan Casey, who co-chairs the event with Daniel.

Often, the Confederate soldiers far outnumber the Union, and re-enactors switch sides to even it out.

"It's all about putting on a good show," Daniel said.

Daniel, a fifth-generation Hernando County resident, has been involved with the Brooksville Raid Re-enactment nearly since its inception. For many years, he also participated as a re-enactor, stepping in as a Union soldier when needed.

The Brooksville Raid is the largest Civil War re-enactment in Florida and draws re-enactors from throughout the state and the southeastern United States, as well as some from Northern states who spend the winter months in Florida.

Daniel said it didn't start out that way. "The first raid re-enactment was held on the museum lawn," he said. "It was really small."

The event's popularity grew from the outset, and the second event was moved from the Hernando Heritage Museum lawn to a large ranch north of Brooksville owned by former county Commissioner Murray Grubbs.

"But it just kept growing and outgrew (Grubbs') property, as well," Daniel said.

As president of the Hernando Historical Museum Association, Daniel helped strike the deal with the Sand Hill Scout Reservation, where the festival has been held since 1991. Today, the two nonprofit organizations work to put together the event and split the proceeds.

The event is expected to draw as many as 9,000 spectators over the weekend.

"People just love it," Daniel said. "They get to see it firsthand, go station to station and see the weaponry, talk to the officers and visit the authentic camps. … And everyone is impressed with how well it's done."

Visitors can shop at the sutler village, which will include more than 40 vendors.

The sutlers will sell a variety of homemade treats, such as kettle corn, root beer, ice cream and fry bread. Shoppers can also find a variety of replica weaponry, uniforms, cooking utensils, tinware, children's toys and other items of the era.

The Boy Scouts will be selling lunch items. Chair rentals will be available.

Casey said the traveling Florida Confederate Memorial Wall will be on-site, courtesy of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans.

"People come back year after year," she said. "I think most just love the history and how people lived in that period."

Comments
8 ways to get on the water in Tampa Bay if you don't own a boat

8 ways to get on the water in Tampa Bay if you don't own a boat

According to the old wisdom, the two happiest days of a boater’s life are the day they buy a boat and the day they sell it. There’s also an argument to be made for the day when a generous friend buys one. Boating, from the sun to the bre...
Published: 05/22/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 23

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 23

Ballet Nacional de Cuba: Making its first return since 2003, the acclaimed company founded nearly 60 years ago by prima ballerina Alicia Alonso survived the Cuban revolution and the subsequent decline in the economy. Ballet remains a principal export...
Published: 05/22/18
Cress Williams of ‘Black Lightning’ talks Season 2, being recognized as a superhero before MegaCon Orlando

Cress Williams of ‘Black Lightning’ talks Season 2, being recognized as a superhero before MegaCon Orlando

No matter what Cress Williams does the rest of his acting career, he’ll always be remembered as the first to play Black Lightning.The 47-year-old actor with roles on ER, Grey’s Anatomy and Friday Night Lights is now that face of a DC comics franchise...
Published: 05/22/18
Despite Walt Disney's wishes, you can now buy alcohol at every Magic Kingdom restaurant

Despite Walt Disney's wishes, you can now buy alcohol at every Magic Kingdom restaurant

Well, you did it millennials. As of this month, every sit-down restaurant in the Magic Kingdom now serves alcohol. It was a big deal back in 2012 when the world’s most visited theme park broke with Uncle Walt’s mandate to keep alcohol ou...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 22

Kendrick Lamar: Hip-hop powerhouse rapper and songwriter will lead The Championship Tour presented by Top Dawg Entertainment with fellow hitmakers from the label like SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, Sir, Lance Skiiiwalker and more. 7:30 p.m., M...
Published: 05/21/18

Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting May 25

FestivalsHarvest Moon Sunflower Maze: The 5-acre sunflower maze features more than 3 miles of twists and turns along with a 70-foot jumping pillow, cow train ride, mineshaft plunge, Wizzer spin and petting farm. Runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays ...
Published: 05/21/18

Pasco Events for May 25

26 SaturdayAbout Boating Safely: Provided by the Hudson Flotilla 11-7 US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Successful completion earns the Florida Boating Safety Education Card. Advanced registration is appreciated. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. $40, $20 additional family m...
Published: 05/21/18

Hernando Events for May 25

Events26 SaturdaySpring Lake Memorial Classic 2-Mile/5K/10K Run: All three courses take participants over a variety of terrains; from asphalt to a nature trail through woods, through a horse barn and up and down some very challenging hills. The new 1...
Published: 05/21/18
The young Han Solo movie is here. And let’s just say a robot is the best part.

The young Han Solo movie is here. And let’s just say a robot is the best part.

Washington PostSolo: A Star Wars Story begins with the Star Wars franchise’s signature tag line, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." But it seems like only yesterday that the title character met his end in The Force Awakens, the first insta...
Published: 05/21/18
Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra wraps up its final masterworks concert of the season with a masterfully complex Johannes Brahms piano concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s warmly accessible Symphony No. 6, commonly known as the "Pastoral."Friday’s sold-o...
Published: 05/19/18