Christmas on Main Street offers snow, reindeer and yuletide fun in Brooksville

Published November 29 2017

BROOKSVILLE — The forecast for downtown Brooksville predicts a 100 percent chance of snow. And not only is snow in the forecast, but reindeer are guaranteed to make an appearance as well.

Snow and reindeer are just a taste of a season full of holiday activities taking place throughout December in downtown Brooksville, with an official kick-off at the annual Christmas on Main Street event Dec. 7 on the courthouse steps at the Hernando County Government Center.

"It will start snowing with the Christmas tree lighting," said Ryan Malloy, director of Brooksville Main Street. "Then it will snow every night through Christmas."

The lighting of the 30-foot Christmas tree was introduced at last year’s event. Once lit, the tree will offer a musical light display. The event will also feature vendors, screenings of classic children’s Christmas movies, holiday activities at various downtown merchants, and a concert on the courthouse steps hosted by the Live Oak Theatre Company.

Brooksville Main Street, now in its second year hosting the Christmas on Main Street event, plans to provide continuous holiday treats through December to bring residents and visitors to downtown Brooksville for the holidays. There will be a lot more decorations, nightly snowfall provided by an artificial snow machine, and activities set for nearly every day through Christmas.

Among the new additions will be a special visit with Santa and live reindeer Dec. 19 at Hernando Park, provided by the Birchmore Group.

"These are real reindeer," Malloy said. "The handlers and reindeer are brought down (from upstate New York) for a small time period. ... But (the handlers) are planning to retire, so this may be your last chance to see live reindeer in Florida."

Visitors will not be allowed to pet the animals, but photo opportunities will be available.

Other events will be sure to please, such as Christmas carriage rides, live nativities and the annual Christmas parade. The snow and the Christmas tree’s musical light show on the courthouse steps will continue from 6 to 8 p.m. daily; and carolers are booked to perform from 6 to 7 p.m. each day through Dec. 24.

"We are really trying to make a lot of nightly activities and are excited to see how it unfolds," Malloy said. "It is going to be a good season. .... We are trying to bring back the momentum that Weenie Rogers had with the Rogers Christmas House, when people drove in from all over to see the true, traditional southern Christmas that Brooksville offered."

If you go:

Christmas on Main Street will be from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the courthouse steps, 20 N Main St., Brooksville. The tree lighting will be at 7:05 p.m. For information, visit Brooksville Main Street’s Facebook page, call (352) 540-6409 or visit brooksvillemainstreet.org.

Additional downtown events include:

• The Living Nativity, 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Hernando High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Bell Ave. Karen Jones’s Christmas comedy presented by HHS drama department. $5 in advance, $7 at the door.

• Christmas performance, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, at Brooksville Commons

• Pet pictures with Santa, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2, at AKA Salvage and Designs; $15, with all proceeds to benefit the Humane Society of the Nature Coast.

• "Road to Bethlehem" Live Nativity, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, at Hernando Park; provided by Hillside Community Baptist Church.

• Kiwanis Club of Brooksville’s annual Christmas Parade, 10 a.m. Dec. 9, beginning on Oakwood Drive, and windind down Howell Avenue and Main Street, then turning down Broad Street and ending at Bell Avenue.

• Night of Lights Tour, 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9, Hernando Heritage Museum, 601 Museum Court; $5.

• Christmas Carriage Rides, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 20, departing from the courthouse. $5 per person. Rides depart every 15 minutes. Two different rides available (north district and south district).

• A Live Oak Fireside Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, at Faith Presbyterian Church, 200 Mount Fair Ave. Visit liveoaktheatre.org or call (352) 593-0027 for details and tickets.

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Other events:

• Candy Cane Acres, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 1-16, Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St., Brooksville. Includes photos with Santa, cookie decorating, a Parade of Trees and holiday lights, Lego and model train display and more. $10 per carload, includes 10 free tickets. Additional tickets are 50 cents each. Call (352) 796-4552.

• Christmas with the Jolly Corks, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. The musical show by Martha Velez features the Jolly Corks, the rock stars of 1867. Tickets $20. Call (352) 683-5113. stagewestflorida.com

• Holidays at the Hill, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2, Chinsegut Hill Manor Museum and Retreat, 22495 Chinsegut Hill Road, north of Brooksville. Includes caroling, manor tours, music, cookies and storytelling. Call (352) 799-5400.

• Holiday in the Gardens, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 2, at Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, 1489 Parker Ave., Spring Hill. Groups will be decorating trees. Visitors can stroll through the gardens to view and vote for their favorite trees (viewing and voting continues through the first of the year). Free admission, $25 to sponsor/decorate a tree. Call (352) 600-7707.

• Photos with Santa Paws, 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 3, Marker 48 Brewing, 12147 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. Benefit for Operation Kindness for Hernando County Animal Services. All dogs must be leashed. Event includes giveaways and raffles. $10, includes 4 by 6 photo. Call (352) 606-2509.

• A Christmas Carol, 7 p.m. Dec. 7-9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Springstead Theatre, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Reserved seats; $15, $10 students. Call (352) 797-7010. shstickets.com

• Winter Waterland, 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 8-16, at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. Santa and his elves join the Weeki Wachee mermaids for the annual holiday show which includes a live nativity, light show and holiday activities. This year’s theme is Polar Express. Tickets $8, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger are free. Call (352) 592-5656. weekiwachee.com

• Hernando Beach Christmas Boat Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 9, at Hernando Beach Yacht Club, 4163 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. Doors open at 5 p.m. Decorate your boat and enter or watch the parade from the yacht club. Travels to Marlin Canal, Cheeks Creek canal, Tarpon canal and returns to the dock. Parade entry fee is one new unwrapped toy. Register from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7 at the yacht club. Call (206) 919-8921.

• Hernando Youth Orchestra Christmas Concert, 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. The event benefits the nonprofit organization which began nine years ago by John St. John of Brooksville. 2 p.m. Tickets $10. Call (352) 683-5113.

• Christmas Kaleidoscope: 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Brookridge Clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St., west of Brooksville. The holiday musical revue is a high energy song and dance production. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets $20, season tickets available. Call (352) 610-4901.

• Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents "Sounds of the Season" concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16, 2 p.m. Dec. 17, at Central High School, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, west of Brooksville. The holiday program will feature guest soloists, the Nature Coast Brass, performing holiday favorites and a sing-a-long. Arrive early and meet and mingle with orchestra members. Tickets $18 adults, $5 students K-12. Call (352) 515-6993. hernandosymphony.com

• Homosassa Christmas Boat Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 16, Homosassa Springs Marina, 10806 W Halls River Road, Homosassa. Parade begins at Marker 75 by Bird Island. An awards ceremony will follow parade at the marina. Food and beverages available for purchase. Call (561) 441-5143 or (352) 302-5779.

• Night of 100 Menorahs, 5 p.m. Dec. 17, Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., Spring Hill. Bring a menorah to celebrate the Festival of Lights with song, games and presents for children and a catered meal. $24 Temple adult members, $30 non-members; $5 Temple children, $8 non-member children; children ages 3 and younger are free. RSVP by Dec. 8; call (352) 686-7034.

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