BROOKSVILLE — The first week of February always seemed to be a difficult time for Celtic entertainers to find performance venues in Florida. So, about five years ago, a group of artists contacted Greg McGrath, the late chief financial officer of Celtic Heritage Productions, and asked him to help find them gigs.
McGrath did something better, and in 2012 put together the first Celtic Family Jamboree at the Sertoma Youth Ranch. The fourth jamboree kicks off this evening and will include music, workshops, camping and camaraderie....
BROOKSVILLE — It is a fast-paced dance that requires a great deal of strength and stamina. The regalia is flashy, with bright colors, and includes feather bustles.
Aptly named the "fancy dance," the Native American men's dance competition was created almost a century ago by native tribes as a way to preserve their culture. Today, the dance is quite popular at powwows across the nation....
SPRING HILL — It was nearly 152 years ago when 240 Union soldiers raided Hernando County in July 1864, pillaging and destroying farmland and homes.
While the Civil War invasion caused great devastation, the "battle" itself was minor. Described as more of a skirmish, Union soldiers outnumbered the Confederate "home guard" 3 to 1.
The numbers will be much greater when the 36th annual Brooksville Raid Re-enactment takes place this weekend as more than 1,500 re-enactors and their families converge on the Sand Hill Scout Reservation....
12/16/15 Music & Concerts
BROOKSVILLE — Quite often, when leaders take over, a number of promises are made that never come to fruition. When a new leader not only promises changes, but also makes them happen, the result can be music to one's ears.
When Michele DiLuzio took over as conductor of the Hernando Symphony Orchestra a year ago, she implemented several changes, including a new venue, new music and a new relationship with patrons....
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"....
BROOKSVILLE — The animated television special A Charlie Brown Christmas has been a holiday staple since it debuted in 1965. And with the recent release of The Peanuts Movie, the lovable loser and his friends are more popular than ever.
So, it is fitting that good ol' Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang will be the theme of the annual Candy Cane Acres holiday event that opens this weekend at the Hernando County Fairgrounds....
SPRING HILL — The Fall Harvest of Art had been the Spring Hill Art League's signature event for more than 40 years. But in recent years, the show had petered out.
"The past two years, it was a much smaller, internal event," said Spring Hill Art League president Marilyn Schaeffer.
When the festival returns this weekend, it will do so under a new name, with a new partnership and with a promise of being bigger and better....
BROOKSVILLE — The resemblance is uncanny. From the hairdo to the trademark long fingernails, she looks a lot like a young Barbra Streisand.
"But what's more important is her voice," said Susan Rupe, publicity chairwoman for the Hernando Performing Arts Guild. "She sounds just like Barbra."
The look and the voice that belong to Carla Delvillaggio will entertain in Brooksville on Saturday when the Hernando Performing Arts Guild kicks off its 2015-16 concert season with "Simply Streisand."...
BROOKSVILLE — Darnell Crandle is used to traveling.
As a member of Fuzed Elements Jazz Ensemble, he often performs at jazz festivals and other musical events in areas throughout the state. But he always thought to himself, "Why are we always going out of town? Why can't we do something like this here, where we live?"
That was the seed that sparked the birth of an idea. And when Fuzed Elements entertained earlier this year at the Hernando Arts Council's annual Art in the Park event, Crandle took the opportunity to share that idea with the event's organizers....
10/21/15 Music & Concerts
SPRING LAKE — As a board member for the Sertoma Youth Ranch and the president and owner of Mojoe Productions, Greg Herndon has had the opportunity to put together numerous music festivals, not only at the youth ranch but throughout the eastern United States.
In recent years, Herndon admits, he has been asked numerous times to bring a blues festival to the local youth ranch. That long-awaited endeavor came to fruition in 2014 with the inaugural Camping with the Blues, a three-day blues festival....
It was 22 years ago when Sal Napoli began lending a hand with the annual Ethnic Festival at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.
Every year, Napoli has been at the church a week before the festival, setting up the grounds and making way for a large 120- by 60-foot tent. And during the four-day festival, he has always been there, faithfully assisting, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day....
BROOKSVILLE — Craft beer is a growing trend across the United States. Its popularity is huge in the Tampa Bay area, and Hernando County is no exception.
Home to a number of home brewers and with a large home brew club (Beer Pressure of the Nature Coast), Hernando is also hosting its first brewing company, Marker 48 Brewing in Spring Hill, which is set to open its doors to the public this month....
It starts with a few men, sitting and chatting at the Reform Club in 1874 London. Discussing how the Earth has "shrunk" and now someone can travel the globe in three months, one man speaks up.
"Eighty days," he says with affirmation, adding it could be done even with setbacks caused by weather, shipwrecks or train wrecks.
The others don't believe it. And what results is the infamous wager — 20,000 pounds....
HERNANDO BEACH — Bill Ferreira began racing cardboard boats 25 years ago while living in Arkansas. As a manufacturing engineer, it was a fun outlet to put his engineering principles to work.
Now retired and a member of the Hernando Beach Marine Safety Support Group, Ferreira and some of the other group members decided several years ago to try and start a race in Hernando County.
The inaugural Hernando Beach Cardboard Boat Race took place in 2013 with a handful of entries. Not a bad start....
09/08/15 Music & Concerts
SPRING HILL — Dancing to swing, ragtime and jazz orchestra music is reminiscent of a bygone era, a simpler time with simpler pleasures. Born after the Great Depression, the big band era embraced a more enthusiastic outlook on life, with spiced-up music from greats such as Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey.
That era will come alive once again when the Hernando Jazz Society kicks off its 21st season Sunday afternoon with a show featuring the Hernando Jazz All Stars at the Wellington Clubhouse....