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Phyllis Day, Times Staff Writer

Phyllis Day

Phyllis Day started working at the Times in February 2000. She works for the Hernando Times regional edition, writing entertainment stories for the Hernando Things to Do page, and puts together various listings for clubs, events, government meetings and other happenings in Hernando County.

Phone: (352) 754-6101


  1. Star-studded bluegrass festival returns to Sertoma for 40th year


    SPRING LAKE — In the world of bluegrass music, Balsam Range is among today's hottest artists. With six critically acclaimed albums since it formed in 2007, the group is among the genre's biggest award winners in recent years, with 10 International Bluegrass Music Association honors.

    While Balsam Range has performed throughout the nation, including several times at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, it isn't often that the group makes its way to Florida. But local bluegrass fans are in for a rare treat when the group headlines the annual Sertoma Spring Bluegrass Festival this weekend at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, south of Spring Lake....

    Critically acclaimed Balsam Range will perform Saturday. The group “is definitely the No. 1 attraction,” said Debi Evans, president of Evans Media Source, the event organizer.
  2. Pasco Briefs for March 24



    Buy chance to win Bucs season tickets

    The Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation is holding a drawing to win two Tampa Bay Buccaneers club-level season tickets. The drawing will be at 8 p.m. April 1 at the Chasco Fiesta in downtown New Port Richey. Ticket-holders do not need to be present to win.

    The tickets are valued at $4,100 and include two preseason and eight regular-season home games, as well as reserved stadium parking. Raffle tickets are $75 each, and only 150 will be sold. Proceeds will benefit the Children's Hearing Help Fund, which is supported by the Sertoma Foundation. To purchase tickets, call the foundation office at (727) 312-3882....

  3. Pasco events for March 24-30


    24 Friday

    Spring Break Book Sale: Fill a bag for $5 (bags provided). Hosted by the Friends of the South Holiday Library, with money raised to support library programs. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. South Holiday Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Road, Holiday. Continues 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. (727) 834-3331.

    25 Saturday

    About Boating Safely: Provided by the Hudson Flotilla 11-7 US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Successful completion earns the Florida Boating Safety Education Card. Advanced registration is appreciated. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. $40 for the first family member, $20 for each additional; includes class, digital manual and processing. Hudson Flotilla Training Facility, 9135 Denton Ave., Hudson. (727) 697-8013....

  4. Pasco Briefs for March 17



    Hazardous waste, items to be collected

    Pasco County Utilities will collect household hazardous waste and electronics from Pasco residents from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 18 at the Pasco High School stadium, 36850 State Road 52. Residents may safely dispose of household hazardous waste and recycle their electronics during the event. There is no charge for Pasco residents, but there is a $5 fee for disposal of each television, computer monitor, computer tower or laptop. There is a $10 charge for televisions 36 inches and larger. For a full list of household hazardous waste items that may be dropped off during the collection, visit online at For information about recycling in Pasco County, visit

  5. Pasco Events for March 17-23


    17 Friday

    Knights of Columbus Council 6476 St. Patrick's Day dinner: Doors open at 4 p.m. The menu includes corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes, carrots, salad, dessert and coffee. 5 to 7 p.m. $10. St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 4843 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday. (727) 389-7076.

    18 Saturday

    Benefit yard sale: Proceeds go to SPCA Suncoast. Hot coffee will be provided to those who arrive early. 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. SPCA Suncoast, 7734 Congress St., Port Richey. (727) 849-1048.

  6. Pasco Briefs for March 10



    Annual cleanup of Pasco set for Saturday

    The Great American Cleanup of Pasco County will be from 8 a.m. to noon March 11 at locations throughout the county. The beautification project is spearheaded locally by Keep Pasco Beautiful and is part of the annual national Great American Cleanup. Teams can help clean up areas in Dade City, Holiday, Moon Lake, Lacoochee, Port Richey and Crystal Springs. Participating high school students can earn community service hours. During last year's cleanup, 484 volunteers picked up 29 tons of trash in Pasco. Those interested in participating in this year's effort may call (727) 856-7252 or send email to

  7. Artistic endeavors off all kinds mix at 33rd annual Art in the Park festival


    BROOKSVILLE — From paintings to sculpture, and from dancing to music. All are linked by a common bond — culture — and all will be pulled together this weekend at the Hernando County Arts Council's annual Art in the Park event.

    The popular festival returns to the shaded grounds of Tom Varn Park. The juried art show, now in its 33rd year, will feature original artwork by fine art and craft exhibitors, as well as a student art exhibit, a children's hands-on art zone and two days of music, dance and theatrical arts....

    At this weekend’s Art in the Park festival, a $1,000 Best in Show prize will be awarded, along with a $500 top prize for students.
  8. Local Fresh Grill offers healthy choices served by a friendly staff


    PORT RICHEY — It's the finadene sauce. It's flavorful, slightly salty and a bit spicy — just enough of each to satiate the palate. And Ron Pentaude is certain the sauce will make his restaurant stand out among others.

    Pentaude first discovered his love for finadene (pronounced fin-uh-denny) when he was stationed in Guam with the Navy years ago. He brought the recipe back with him to the United States, and today it is among the sauce choices at his new restaurant, the Local Fresh Grill of Pasco, which opened in December on Richey Drive, just off U.S. 19 (west of Ridge Road)....

    Erik Landers, left, Kevin Moore and Ron Pentaude, owners of the Local Fresh Grill of Pasco, chat with customers.
  9. Pasco Events for March 10-16


    10 Friday

    Masquerade Jewelry and Fashions: The Medical Center of Trinity Volunteers will host this sale to raise money for scholarships for students who will be studying in the medical field. All items are $5, including jewelry, watches, scarves, rings, umbrellas and other items. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54, Trinity. (727) 372-5092.

    Benefit yard sale: Housewares, toys, electronics, clothing, jewelry and other items will be available. Lunch will be sold for $3. Proceeds benefit the Thomas Promise Foundation. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rosecastle of Zephyrhills, 37411 Eiland Blvd., Zephyrhills. (813) 783-8100....

  10. Pasco Briefs for March 3



    AARP offers driver safety classes

    The AARP Driver Safety Program class will be offered at several Pasco County locations during March. The course is open to drivers ages 50 and older who, upon completion, may receive a discount on their auto insurance premiums. The certificate is valid for three years. The cost for the course is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for nonmembers. Space is limited; preregistration is required. For class times, contact the instructor....

  11. Swamp creatures only part of the fun at 24th annual Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest


    WEEKI WACHEE — March in Florida is known for warm, sunny weather and spring break. In western Hernando County, it's also known for monsters — the "swampy" kind.

    The swamp creatures, sometimes covered in Spanish moss or palmetto fronds, will be mingling among the crowds this weekend during the Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. The three-day event, now in its 24th year, will feature more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, musical entertainment, food vendors, a raffle featuring more than 200 prize drawings, and, of course, the popular Swamp Monster contest....

    Swamp monsters are one of the highlights at the annual Weeki Wachee Swamp Fest, which takes place this weekend at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
  12. Pasco Events for March 3-9


    3 Friday

    GFWC Lutz-Land O'Lakes Woman's Club Flea Market: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Old Lutz Schoolhouse, 18819 U.S. 41, Lutz. (813) 948-4752. The market continues on Saturday.

    Job search and career assistance: CareerSource Pasco Hernando's Mobile One Stop unit will be on hand to help job seekers with creating and printing resumes, accessing local and statewide job listings, and getting information about programs provided by CareerSource. The mobile unit is a self-contained resource room on wheels, with 12 computer stations, satellite Internet and telecommunications, and printing/copying capabilities. 9:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Free. New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills. (352) 279-4400.

  13. Weekend Winter Fest to bring back music, fun at Lake House


    SPRING HILL — Before the Spring Hill Community Association disbanded in 2014 and sold the Lake House to the county, the property was a prime destination for outdoor concerts and events.

    The nostalgia of those days return this weekend when Hernando County Parks and Recreation Department and local radio station Hits 106.3 FM host the second annual Winterfest at the Lake House. The two-day event features a full lineup of musical entertainment, food and fun for the whole family....

    The popular Greg Billings Band will perform from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday during Winterfest at the Lake House in Spring Hill.
  14. Variety of genres to be represented in Hernando Symphony Orchestra concerts

    Music & Concerts

    BROOKSVILLE — Triumph of the Argonauts and Pinball Wizard. Two musical pieces that tell tales of victory, but the similarities end there, as the songs could not be more different.

    One is a score from a motion picture about an ancient Greek quest to capture the Golden Fleece; the other is about a young pinball player's fight to conquer a silver ball.

    Both will be featured when the Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents its "Spectrum" concerts this weekend — opening with Robert Sheldon's triumphant score, and closing with the Who's 1969 classic rock tune....

    “We are excited and grateful to be able to play so many new songs,” said conductor Michele DiLuzio.
  15. Pasco Events for Feb. 24-March 2


    24 Friday

    Church rummage sale: The sale will include everything from furniture to clothing to tools. Proceeds will benefit ministries at the church. 8 a.m. to noon. Hope United Methodist Church, 2200 Little Road, Trinity. The sale continues on Saturday. (727) 808-0938.

    For Your Health seminar series: A complimentary light lunch will be provided. The topic: "2D vs. 3D Mammography: What's the Big Deal?," presented by Dr. Alene Wright, who will discuss imaging options in the fight against breast cancer. Noon. Free, but reservations are required. Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54, Trinity. (727) 834-5630.