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Warm weather no deterrent to Saturday's annual Brooksville Christmas Parade

The Hernando High School cheerleading squad rides in last year’s Brooksville Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will have about 100 participants, including floats, marching bands and — of course — Santa Claus. This year, the Christkindl Festival will offer arts and crafts, food and beverages with a European flair.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

The Hernando High School cheerleading squad rides in last year’s Brooksville Christmas Parade. This year’s parade will have about 100 participants, including floats, marching bands and — of course — Santa Claus. This year, the Christkindl Festival will offer arts and crafts, food and beverages with a European flair.

BROOKSVILLE — For 40 years, the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville has kicked off the holidays with its annual Christmas parade in downtown Brooksville.

While record-high temperatures this fall make it difficult to believe that Christmas is just two weeks away, club members are preparing to host the 41st annual parade at 10 a.m. Saturday with an appropriate theme — "A Tropical Christmas".

"We definitely are experiencing some unusual weather," Kiwanis president Gerrie Bishop said. "But we just hope it will be a nice day."

The parade will feature about 100 entries, including some of the usual favorites, such as high school marching bands, law enforcement, Shriners on motorized vehicles, horses, dancers and, of course, Santa Claus.

This year's featured Hometown Hero will be 11-year-old Emma Buscemi, who is in the sixth grade at Explorer K-8 School in Spring Hill.

Emma is involved in numerous volunteer endeavors, particularly with military veterans — Stars for Our Troops, Operation Christmas Cards and Wreaths Across America, to name a few.

"Emma is a real super kid," Bishop said. "She makes blankets for cancer patients, valentines for veterans. . . . She is involved in so many community service projects. She is amazing."

When the parade winds down, spectators can stick around downtown for additional activities.

A few blocks down Main Street at the GFWC Historic Brooksville Woman's Club, the street will be closed for the club's inaugural Christkindl Festival. The event will feature about 100 arts and craft booths, along with a variety of food vendors.

Inspired by the 700-year-old German Christkindlmarkt (Christ Child Market), club members not only wanted to offer an event to complement the parade, but also to offer something unique.

"We always hear that there is nothing to do after the parade," said Adele VanSciver, president of the Brooksville Woman's Club. "This is something different, a festival in the best European flavor, so to speak."

Inside the clubhouse, visitors can sample German and European pastries and breads, craft beer provided by Marker 48 Brewery and hot mulled wine.

The free event is a "true family affair," VanSciver said.

"There is nothing like this in Florida," she said. "We want this to be a destination event for all of Florida."

Other holiday events

There are a number of other holiday events planned this weekend in Hernando County:

Winter Waterland, 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 19, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. The event features a live nativity, a light show, a "Santa's Helpers" show and photo opportunity with Santa and his mermaid elves. $6 for adults and teens, $4 for ages 6 to 12 and free for ages 5 and younger. There is an extra fee for the petting zoo and bounce house. (352) 592-5656 or weekiwachee.com.

A Merry Medieval Madrigal Feast, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 200 Mount Fair Ave., Brooksville. The dinner show will feature the Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church choir, the Justify Drama Team and Live Oak Theatre Company. Christmas music, comedic and dramatic presentations, wassail punch, figgy pudding, hors d'oeuvres and dinner by Dickey's Barbecue. Period dress is optional. $18 for adults and teens; $5 for ages 12 and younger. Visit LiveOakTheatre.org or (352) 593-0027.

Candy Cane Acres, 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 19, Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St., Brooksville. Featuring a light display, Christmas village, parade of trees, games, treats and photo opportunity with Santa. $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.

Spring Hill Garden Club poinsettia planting, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Spring Hill waterfall entrance at Spring Hill Drive and Commercial Way. The Nature Coast Botanical Gardens invites residents to plant a poinsettia in memory of a loved one. Bring plants and planting tools. (352) 683-9933.

Community Christmas, 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May-Stringer Historical House, 601 Museum Court, Brooksville. The Hernando Historical Museum Association invites visitors to view rooms in the home decorated by local businesses and organizations. Meet Santa, enjoy cookies and a cup of hot cocoa, and listen to Christmas music. $5, which includes light refreshments and a contest with prizes. (352) 796-5398.

Hernando Jazz Society hosts "Holiday with Sinatra,'' 2 p.m. Sunday, Wellington Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Blvd., Spring Hill. Free for jazz society members; nonmembers pay $10 each or $15 per couple. Cash bar and buffet available for additional cost. (352) 799-9690.

Meet Santa at the Mall, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Towne Square Mall, 3021 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. Santa will meet with children and pets. Free photo provided. Kids 16 and younger also receive a gift. (352) 340-7579.

Christmas Fair and Cookie Sale, 3 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 5030 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Coffee, doughnuts and bagels will be available on Sunday only. (352) 683-9666.

Christmas storyteller and carol sing, 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Chinsegut Hill, 22495 Chinsegut Hill Road, north of Brooksville. See how the renovated Chinsegut Hill Retreat glows with vintage Christmas charm. Free. (352) 799-5400.

NAMI Hernando Christmas party, 6 p.m. Saturday, Spring Hill Lanes, 3447 Commercial Drive, Spring Hill. $15. Tickets are available at the NAMI office, 10554 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. (352) 684-0004.

Sons and Daughters of Una Famiglia Lodge 2882 Christmas dinner-dance, 6 p.m. Saturday, party room at Town Square Mall, 3021 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. With Big Daddy DJ and dinner by John Mason Catering. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need. $20 per person. (352) 263-7829.

>>if you go

Brooksville Christmas Parade

The 41st annual Brooksville Christmas Parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Brooksville. The parade begins at Oakwood Drive, then proceeds south on Howell Avenue and Main Street, turning east onto Broad Street and ending at Bell Avenue.

The Christkindl Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the GFWC Historic Brooksville Woman's Club, 131 S Main St., Brooksville. Admission is free. (352) 279-7460.

. if you go

Brooksville Christmas Parade

The 41st annual Brooksville Christmas Parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Brooksville. The parade begins at Oakwood Drive, then proceeds south on Howell Avenue and Main Street, turning east onto Broad Street and ending at Bell Avenue.

The Christkindl Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the GFWC Historic Brooksville Woman's Club, 131 S Main St., Brooksville. Admission is free. (352) 279-7460.

Warm weather no deterrent to Saturday's annual Brooksville Christmas Parade 12/07/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 6:08pm]
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