Monday, June 18, 2018
Events

Bluegrass Classic roars back to Brooksville

BROOKSVILLE ó It started as a small bluegrass festival in the northern Florida town of Waldo, drawing anywhere from 300 to 400 guests. When it started growing, organizers moved the event to eastern Brooksville with hopes of a more diverse repertoire of music and even larger crowds.

The first festival Florida Classic Park started two years ago, and the crowds came. In fact, last yearís event drew about 2,000 guests, which doubled from the year before.

As time nears for the return of the Florida Bluegrass Classic on Feb. 20, organizers are stunned.

"Our pre-sales have tripled," said event promoter Ernie Evans of Evans Media Source. "Itís crazy. This is something that we dream of, but usually never happens. ... Itís just exploding this year."

Evans said his company puts on about nine festivals each year, with three major bluegrass festivals in Florida. But the one most people talk about is the festival at Florida Classic Park.

"There is just something about this location," he said.

The music festival runs Feb. 20 through 25, and festival-goers will have a full daily lineup of entertainment, including classic country and bluegrass music. Headliner T.G. Sheppard will perform Feb. 24.

"We sent a poll out on who (festival fans) wanted to see, and the ladies overwhelmingly wanted T.G. Sheppard," Evans said.

The Grand Ole Opry star will make his Brooksville stop following his concert at the Florida State Fair in Tampa Feb. 14. Sheppard is ranked among the top 100 country artists of all time, with 21 No. 1 hits during the 1970s and Ď80s. He is known for hits Last Cheaters Waltz, I Loved ĎEm Everyone, Do You Wanna Go to Heaven and Party Time.

The five-day festival also includes concerts Feb. 22 and 23 by Nothiní Fancy, an award-winning bluegrass band from Virginia that puts on a comedy musical show.

"They are incredible," Evans said.

And the Atlantic City Boys, a Four Seasons tribute band, will present an afternoon concert Feb. 24 that includes a military tribute and a special dedication to emergency responders.

"Their arrival will be great," Evans said. Without giving away too much, Evans said the bandís grand entrance will include classic cars.

Others include the Larry Gillis Classic Country Show, Penny Creek Band, Billy Droze, Williamson Branch, Greg Bird, Kenny Stinson & Perfect Tymín, Big Cypress, Phil Leadbetter and Richard Bennet with the Walker Brothers, and Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road. There will be a gospel sing on Feb. 25 with Jan Ladd.

The festival includes a classic car show, arts and crafts, food vendors, raffles, games and other activities for both overnight campers and day visitors.

"I think people finally realize weíre here and what we are doing," Evans said. "We are always adding more variety to the entertainment. Next year we may also include some Cajun. .... We are keeping the bluegrass theme, but itís definitely not all bluegrass."

 
Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 19

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 19

James After 5: The museum is open from 5 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, featuring $5 admission. Tonight, former Tampa Bay Times movie critic Steve Persall will introduce a screening of Stagecoach (1939). 5 p.m., James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, 15...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Celebrate summer with these family friendly events

TIMES STAFFThose looking to get out this weekend might want to check out a couple of family-friendly events in east Pasco. ē Itís old fashioned summer fun as Color Me Abstract hosts their second Family Field Day Saturday at Florida Pioneer Museum in...
Published: 06/18/18

Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting June 22

Art eventsUn-Common-Ly-Artsy: The event, which features a collection of fine artists, crafters and makers, will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 at the Uptown Art Gallery at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Food trucks will be on site...
Published: 06/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 18-24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 18-24

St. Pete Pride: One of the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast happens this weekend, bringing a rainbow of activities. Things set off on Friday with the free SP2 Concert at North Straub Park, hosted by Coco Montrese of RuPaul’s Drag Race...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG ó In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.Heís got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/15/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on June 16

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on June 16

Maroon 5: Three-time Grammy award-winning multiplatinum band hits the stage with opener Julia Michaels, a best new artist Grammy nominee and prodigious songwriter who contributed to a couple of new songs on Red Pill Blues. 8 p.m. Amalie Arena, 401 Ch...
Published: 06/15/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg. See the big fight on Saturday.

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg. See the big fight on Saturday.

It's at the Coliseum.
Published: 06/15/18
Puerto Vallarta is a dreamy Mexican getaway within reach

Puerto Vallarta is a dreamy Mexican getaway within reach

LOREN ELLIOTT ē Times CorrespondentPUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICOThe third-floor balcony attached to our rented apartment served as a peaceful refuge above Puerto Vallartaís bustling central district streets. Below us, taxis honked, people crowded bus ...
Published: 06/15/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on June 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on June 17

Styx with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Itís a rock classic summer tour with special guest Tesla. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.50-$350. (813) 740-2446.The Illusionists: Live from Broadway: A group of fiv...
Published: 06/15/18
5 fiction writers who've turned their attention to Donald Trump

5 fiction writers who've turned their attention to Donald Trump

He might not have intended it, but Donald Trump has been good for book publishing.
Published: 06/15/18