Friday, February 23, 2018
Events

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

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."

Comments
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu?A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but crucial r...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Blast Friday: The Romantics: The family-friendly food and craft vendor festival featuring a free live concert and a beer garden. 5:30 p.m., 400 Block of Cleveland Street, Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free. (727) 464-7200. Pasco C...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

ST. PETERSBURG — The composer sat in semi-darkness, his hand drifting like a slow pendulum at his side. On the Mahaffey Theater stage, the violins led a creaking and mysterious journey through a cypress swamp, the inspiration for the first movement.T...
Published: 02/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 24

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Pirates and Pets: A time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $21.95...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘Annihilation’ is strange, beautiful biological mystery

‘Annihilation’ is strange, beautiful biological mystery

Alex Garland’s Annihilation is a bracing blend of cerebral sci-fi and grindhouse terror, a genre movie that’s more, maybe too much for some viewers.Based on Tallahassee author Jeff VanderMeer’s novel, Annihilation on the surface is a dead-ducks missi...
Published: 02/22/18
Review: John Dufresne gives an entertaining short course in ‘Flash! Writing the Very Short Story’

Review: John Dufresne gives an entertaining short course in ‘Flash! Writing the Very Short Story’

Don’t tell John Dufresne you don’t have time to read.In fact, don’t tell him you don’t have time to write. Instead, spend a little time with his new book, Flash! Writing the Very Short Story. You’ll find a treasure trove of stories you can read in th...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
An original clarinet and bassoon composition highlights Tampa Bay Symphony concert

An original clarinet and bassoon composition highlights Tampa Bay Symphony concert

ST. PETERSBURG — After the National Anthem and some introductory remarks by the maestro, a teacher from Chattanooga, Tenn., addressed a crowd at the Palladium Tuesday about the short work they were about to hear from the Tampa Bay Symphony."This piec...
Published: 02/21/18
Innovative artist Toni Dove’s Embodied Machines and Bekky Buekes’ Black. White. Gold.

Innovative artist Toni Dove’s Embodied Machines and Bekky Buekes’ Black. White. Gold.

Toni Dove: Embodied MachinesIf you were feeling like your art viewing experiences haven’t been high-tech enough lately, the "Embodied Machines" exhibition opening at the Ringling Museum on Sunday will fill that void. It’s the first survey exhibition ...
Published: 02/21/18