BROOKSVILLE — It promises to be a true picture of "living history."
With period demonstrations, tours of historic homes and a day filled with entertainment, Hernando County's past can be revisited Saturday at 35th annual Heritage Day Festival on the grounds of the 1885 Train Depot Museum and the adjacent Countryman One Room Schoolhouse.
Among the demonstrators, who will be lined up along the Good Neighbor Trail, will be wool spinners, pine needle basket weavers and others. There will pioneer toys, period re-enactors and a fire show, as well as noted local storyteller Jerry Cowling.
Musical groups will perform in the gazebo, including the Sassafras Bluegrass Band, the Barking Dogs, Old Time Jam and Dixie Blue.
There will be food vendors, a petting zoo for children and a cake-cutting at noon to celebrate the county's 173rd birthday.
"We will have a lot going on," said Mary Moses, event chairwoman. "It really has taken on life. We're excited."
The event is presented by the Hernando Historical Museum Association and the Hernando Historic Preservation Society. The two organizations joined forces several years ago to help revive the struggling event.
"We combined the home tours with Heritage Day, making it a bigger event," Moses said.
Previously held on the grounds of the Hernando Heritage Museum, the event moved to its current location last year, which was well received by those attending.
"We used to get complaints about the parking (at the Heritage Museum)," Moses said. And, along with ample parking, visitors can now "stroll down the Good Neighbor Trail, sit at the picnic table and enjoy their lunch while listening to the music."
There will be some activities at the Heritage Museum as well, including a car show.
While the festival is free, there is a cost for the historic home tour. Those who purchase tickets will board a tram and tour three homes in downtown Brooksville that have been restored to their original splendor — the 1911 Dawson House, 1885 Martin House and 1900 Ederington House.
"All the homes have been beautifully restored," Moses said.
Tours of the Heritage Museum, the Countryman One Room Schoolhouse and the 1885 Train Depot will also be available throughout the day.
"We can't let events like this go away," Moses said. "Not only do you learn about (Hernando's) pioneer roots, but it gives a sense of community."