Make us your home page
Instagram

Organizers say they're better prepared for Fourth crowds at Hernando fairgrounds

A fireworks show provided by Sky Candy Fireworks of Riverview will finish the day at this year’s Firecracker Smash’m Up! on July 4 in Brooksville.

Times files

A fireworks show provided by Sky Candy Fireworks of Riverview will finish the day at this year’s Firecracker Smash’m Up! on July 4 in Brooksville.

BROOKSVILLE — When the Hernando County Fairgrounds, after an 18-year hiatus, revived its Fourth of July celebration last year, organizers were a bit unprepared for the overwhelming response.

Thousands of vehicles flooded the parking lot, with lines of cars about a mile long up and down U.S. 41.

"The turnout was amazing," said Shari Klimas, president of the Hernando County Fair Association. "We were not expecting the crowds. We thought there would only be a few thousand people."

This time, Klimas said, organizers are more prepared. And when the gates open for the second Firecracker Smash'm Up! celebration Monday, local residents and families will find a better organized day of music, games, food and fireworks. Most importantly, there will be more of nearly everything — more help with parking, more bounce houses and games for children and more food vendors. All should help with the long lines experienced last year.

"It was very overwhelming last year," Klimas admitted. "But everyone had fun. ... Even with some torrential rains and some long lines."

Among the day's highlights will be a demolition derby that will start at 7 p.m. Klimas urges people attending to arrive at least an hour early.

"The demolition derby is always a favorite," she said. "Last year, it was standing room only."

There will be musical entertainment from 4 to 9 p.m., including Miguel, Jason Allison and Spin-Lok (classic rock), as well as other entertainers. There will also be a variety of free activities, crafts and games for children, and an area with bounce houses and other inflatables ($5 armband for unlimited use).

A Lego display will also be there, as well as a rescue group offering pony rides and special visitors from Wild Things in Dade City. Horseshoes and cornhole games will also be offered.

And of course, there are fireworks. The evening will conclude with the fireworks display, provided by Sky Candy Fireworks in Riverview. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

Klimas said the goal is to make the event bigger and better each year. She said that, along with sponsors, the city of Brooksville "stepped up to the plate" and waived fees and made a donation.

"The kids can have a good time while parents relax and listen to the music," Klimas said. "We want it to be safe, fun and affordable."

>>if you go

Firecracker

Smash'm Up!

When: Gates open at 4 p.m. Monday; the demolition derby starts at 7 p.m.

Where: Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St., Brooksville

Admission: Parking is $10. The demolition derby is $10 for adults and teenagers and $5 for children ages 4 to 12.

Information: Call the fairgrounds at (352) 796-4552 or visit hernandofairgrounds.com.

Organizers say they're better prepared for Fourth crowds at Hernando fairgrounds 06/29/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 4:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 23

    Events

    Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons: The original Jersey boy himself has produced hits like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, December '63 and Grease during his long-lasting career both solo and with the Four Seasons. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, …

    Saint PAUL, MN - JULY 25: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons perform at the 2010 Starkey Hearing Foundation 10th Annual "So the World May Hear" Gala at Saint Paul RiverCentre on July 25, 2010 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.   (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation) *** Local Caption *** Frankie Valli
  2. Review: Don't miss Israel Horovitz's 'Gloucester Blue' at Jobsite Theater

    Stage

    TAMPA — Sometimes a show comes along that does everything. It engages the senses on every level, tells a story that feels real, and keeps you guessing to the end.

    Ned Averill-Snell (left) plays Latham and Landon Green is Stumpy in Jobsite Theater's Gloucester Blue. Photo by Pritchard Photography.
  3. Review: ABC's 'Dirty Dancing' remake should be left in a corner

    Blogs

    It seems as if nothing is sacred anymore.

    Colt Prattes and Abigail Breslin in ABC's Dirty Dancing remake.
  4. Restaurant review: Tampa wine bar Cru Cellars also a worthy spot to indulge in sophisticated plates

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA -- One of the joys of writing about businesses in a particular market over a long period of time is watching some of them find their footing, mature and blossom. Cru Cellars has seriously come into its own.

    Citrus Panzanella, with blood orange, grapefruit, orange, fennel and crouton, at Cru Cellars in Tampa.
  5. Universal Studios theme park is taking people inside 'The Shining' (w/video)

    Blogs

    It's only May, but Universal Studios is already teasing a big reveal for this year's Halloween Horror Nights: a haunted attraction based on Stanley Kubrick's horror masterpiece The Shining.

    A scene from the film version of "The Shining."