For nearly four decades, one event has successfully put Hernando County residents in the Christmas spirit — the annual Brooksville Christmas Parade.
Now in its 38th year, this year's parade, which is put on by the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville, will include about 120 units traveling through downtown Brooksville — marching bands, dance studios, Shriners, ROTC groups, churches, schools, businesses, local organizations and, of course, Santa Claus, who may be joined by mermaid "elves." There will be concessions and other vendors on hand.
This year's theme is "Carols of Christmas," and Nashville star Billy Dawson will serve as grand marshal, as the parade kicks off starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, along Varsity Drive on the north side of Brooksville and continues on Oakwood Drive to Howell Avenue, then south down Howell and S Main Street before turning onto N Broad Street and ending at Bell Avenue.
Festivities don't stop after the last float. A few blocks down Main Street, from Lamar Avenue to Liberty Street, the road will be closed for the annual Christkindl Festival. Hosted by the GFWC Historic Brooksville Woman's Club, the festival is inspired by the 700-year-old German Christkindlmarket (Christ Child Market). It will feature more than 100 vendors, German dishes and pastries, hot mulled wine, local craft beer, handcrafts, artisans, music, dancing and other activities. Visitors can have their pictures taken with an Old World Santa and a Christmas angel.
For additional information about the parade, visit kiwanisclubofbrooksville.org or call (352) 799-6573. For information about the Christkindl Festival, call (352) 279-7460.
Other holiday events
Christmas on Main Street: 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 throughout downtown Brooksville. Dec. 8 activities: Vendors will be set up along Main Street; Santa will be at the House of Passage from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.; the windows at Patricia's Boutique will come to life at 6 p.m.; city and county officials will speak at 7 p.m., followed by Brooksville's Merry Main Street Musical Light Spectacular from 7:05 to 7:25 p.m., and Live Oak Theatre Company will present musical entertainment from 7:25 to 8:30 p.m., along with the Bad Kitty Band and the Weeki Wachee High School Chorus. Dec. 9 activities: Brooksville Merry Main Street Musical Light Spectacular Show from 6 to 8 p.m.; a live nativity by Hillside Community Baptist Church at 6 p.m. at Hernando Park, and an outdoor showing of the movie Elf at 6:30 p.m. on Main Street. Dec. 10 activities: Christmas Stroll on Main Street at 5:30 p.m.; live nativity at 5:30 p.m. at Hernando Park, and the Brooksville Merry Main Street Musical Light Spectacular at 7 p.m.
Night of Lights Tour: 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, May-Stringer Historical House, 601 Museum Court, Brooksville. Tour the 14-room Victorian home decorated by local businesses while enjoying Christmas carols, hot chocolate, cookies and appearances by Santa and Princess Anna (Snow Queen). $5 per person. (352) 799-0129. hernandohistoricalmuseumassoc.com.
'A Christmas Carol': 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 to 10, Springstead Theatre, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. A production of the classic Dickens tale. Tickets available at shstickets.com. $14 for adults; $10 for students. (352) 797-7010.
Merry Medieval Madrigal Feast: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 200 Mount Fair Ave., Brooksville. Featuring traditional Christmas music by the church choir and Live Oak Theatre Company. The Justify Drama Team will present comedic and dramatic presentations featuring the king and queen, town crier, court jester, knights and other members of the royal court. A full dinner is included, as well as wassail punch, fruit and cheese hors d'oeuvres and figgy pudding. Period dress is welcome, but not required. $25 for adults; $10 for ages 13 and younger. (352) 593-0027. liveoaktheatre.org/.
Candy Cane Acres: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17, Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St., Brooksville. The annual Christmas event includes photos with Santa, decorating Mrs. Claus' homemade cookies, the Parade of Trees and holiday lights, crafts to make and take home, a magical playground, Florida-style sleigh ride, live nativity scene and pony rides. $10 per carload, which includes 10 free tickets that may be used for food, drinks and games. Additional tickets are 50 cents each. (352) 796-4552.
Winter Waterland: 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. Santa and his elves will join the Weeki Wachee mermaids for performances. The event includes a live nativity, a light show and holiday activities. $6; $4 for ages 6 to 12, and free for ages 5 and younger. (352) 592-5656. weekiwachee.com.
Poinsettia Planting at the Waterfall: 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 10, Spring Hill waterfall entrance, Spring Hill Drive and Commercial Way, Spring Hill. Hosted by the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, residents are invited to plant a poinsettia in memory of a loved one and help decorate the waterfall entrance. Bring plants and planting tools. (352) 683-9933.
Hernando Beach Christmas Boat Parade: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Hernando Beach Yacht Club, 4163 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. Doors open at 5 p.m. Participants are invited to decorate their boats and enter from the yacht club. The parade starts from the boat dock and will travels through Marlin canal, Cheeks Creek canal and Tarpon canal, then return to the dock. Parade entry fee is one new unwrapped toy. Free for spectators. (206) 919-8921.
Hernando Jazz Society presents Holiday Celebration: 2 p.m. Dec. 11, Wellington Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Blvd., Spring Hill. Listen to live sounds of seasonal tunes. Sioux City Grill will offer a cash bar and buffet. Admission is free for society members; nonmembers pay $10 each or $15 per couple. (352) 799-9690.
Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents 'Sounds of the Season' holiday concert: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18, Central High School, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, west of Brooksville. Listen to holiday favorites, such as the Canadian Brass Christmas, O Holy Night, Hanukkah Festival, Little Drummer Boy and a Christmas sing-along. The HSO Holiday Singers will perform with the orchestra. Doors open 90 minutes prior to each concert with an opportunity to meet and talk with the conductor and musicians. Tickets: $15; $5 for students through Grade 12. (352) 515-6993. hernandosymphony.com.
Arc Christmas Dance Party: 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 16, Arc Nature Coast Education Center, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Includes refreshments, food and a gift from Santa. Admission is $5; free for volunteers, parents and children ages 10 and younger. (352) 544-2322, ext. 109.
Breakfast with Santa: 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 17, Hernando County Family YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Join Santa for breakfast, photos, games and arts and crafts. $3. (352) 688-9622.
Wreaths Across America: Dec. 17, Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell. This is a holiday wreath-laying ceremony to honor and remember the nation's veterans, the Merchant Marines and prisoners of war and those still missing in action. Open to the public. The wreaths arrive at 10 a.m. To participate, arrive at 9:45 a.m. A ceremony will start at 11 a.m. Bring a chair. (352) 793-7740. wreathsacrossamerica.org.
Aglow International's Christmas Gathering: 8:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 19, Atria Evergreen Woods, 7030 Evergreen Woods Trail, Spring Hill. The public is invited to attend this special meeting, featuring Christmas music and a skit. Call to RSVP. $8.50, includes breakfast buffet. (352) 619-4164.