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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. Pasco Briefs for Dec. 9



    Tax offices collecting for Toys for Tots

    The Pasco County Tax Collector's Office is participating in the annual Toys for Tots collection drive, with each of the county's tax offices serving as a drop-off site. Those wishing to make a donation may drop off new, unwrapped gifts for children and teenagers through Dec. 22 at the following locations: West Pasco Government Center, 8731 Citizens Drive, Room 120, New Port Richey; Gulf Harbors office, 4720 U.S. 19, New Port Richey; Central Pasco Government Center, 4111 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes; 4610 Pet Lane, C101, Wesley Chapel, and East Pasco Government Center, 14236 Sixth St., Room 100, Dade City. Contact Greg Giordano at (727) 847-8179 or visit Visit the Toys for Tots website at

  2. Pasco Holiday Events


    From Christmas parades and live nativities to holiday concerts and festivals, Pasco County residents have a host of events in the weeks leading up to Christmas that are sure to get folks into the holiday spirit.

    The next two weekends, however, will offer something a little different. Two holiday events lure visitors into the wildernesses of the county — the Wilderness Wonderland Celebration of Lights at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey and the Holiday Express Train to Santa's Cabin at Crews Lake Wilderness Park in Shady Hills....

    During daylight hours, children and adults of all ages can take unlimited old-fashioned train rides at Crews Lake Park.
  3. Hernando Holiday Events


    For nearly four decades, one event has successfully put Hernando County residents in the Christmas spirit — the annual Brooksville Christmas Parade.

    Now in its 38th year, this year's parade, which is put on by the Kiwanis Club of Brooksville, will include about 120 units traveling through downtown Brooksville — marching bands, dance studios, Shriners, ROTC groups, churches, schools, businesses, local organizations and, of course, Santa Claus, who may be joined by mermaid "elves." There will be concessions and other vendors on hand....

    The Hernando High cheer squad in the 2014 Brooksville parade.
  4. Pasco Events for Dec. 9-15


    9 Friday

    Holiday craft fair: Local artists and vendors will sell an array of items, including jewelry, designer handbags, homemade decorative items and edibles. There will be a $3 lunch available, which includes a hotdog, drink and chips; proceeds will benefit the local Alzheimer's Association. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. Rosecastle of Zephyrhills, 37411 Eiland Blvd., Zephyrhills. (813) 783-8100....

  5. Clinic at Walmart offers low-cost vet care for those in need


    BY Phyllis Day

    PORT RICHEY — She was only a few months old when Annie's rescuers found her alone in the woods off the bike trail in a west Pasco park.

    She was starving and sick, with red bumps and scabs all over her body. If they hadn't found her when they did, Annie could have died. After bringing Annie to their veterinary hospital for treatment, they discovered she was suffering from a common skin disease that could have been treated easily had she seen a veterinarian for routine puppy care....

    Dr. Douglas Spiker, right, speaks with Ruth Minerva Torres, accompanied by a friend, about her dog, Gabi, as veterinary assistant Sara Murphy assists at the Essentials PetCare clinic inside the Walmart Supercenter on U.S. 19 in Port Richey.
  6. Parades aplenty kick off the holiday season in Pasco


    While the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York kicks off the holiday season across the country, most only get to watch the spectacle on television. In Pasco County, residents will have several chances to line the roadways and get into the Christmas spirit. Several parades are scheduled, starting with a nighttime parade in Dade City on Dec. 2. Then, on Dec. 3, there will be parades in New Port Richey, Hudson and Zephyrhills....

    Check out some boat parade this weekend.
  7. Candy Cane Acres returns to bring holiday cheer at fairgrounds


    The day after Thanksgiving, commonly known as Black Friday, officially kicks off the annual shopping frenzy that continues until Christmas. For most, those holiday memories are not met with smiles. But the Hernando County Fairgrounds in Brooksville has started a new tradition that kicks off the day after Thanksgiving — Candy Cane Acres.

    Those who missed last week's opening of the fairgrounds' annual holiday event need not worry. It continues on weekends through Dec. 17....

    Candy Cane Acres continues at the Hernando County Fairgrounds through Dec. 17.
  8. Pasco Events for Dec. 2-8


    3 Saturday

    Run for Life: Choose from a 5K or 1-mile race with live music, face painting, giveaways and refreshments. Benefits the Zephyrhills Pregnancy Care Center. 8:30 a.m. $15 to $25. Zephyrhills Mainstreet Stage, 38500 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills. (813) 780-6885.

    'Getting Rid of Pesky Weeds': Participants in this seminar will learn how to get rid of stubborn weeds from lawns and landscapes. Pre-registration requested. 9 to 11 a.m. Free. Clayton Hall at Pasco County Extension Service (Pasco County Fairgrounds), 36702 State Road 52, Dade City. (352) 518-0156.

  9. Pasco events for Nov. 25-Dec. 1


    25 Friday

    Saint Leo Drop-N-Shop Children's Camp: Hosted by the Saint Leo women's basketball team in the Marion Bowman Activities Center. Open to ages 4-14, the camp will include games and activities, such as basketball, baseball, crafts and swimming. Campers are to bring their lunch; and those planning to go in the pool should bring a bathing suit, towel and sunscreen. 8 a.m. to noon. $40 for first child ($10 for additional children). Early drop-off and late pick-up rate is $10 per hour. Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo. (352) 588-7344.

  10. Craft beers, sodas and a homey atmosphere bring patrons to Zephyrhills Brewing Co.


    ZEPHYRHILLS — When Robert Hilferding made his first batch of beer from a make-your-own kit in 2012, the result was good. So he made some more — and some more after that.

    Then, in 2013, when he discovered there were competitions for home-brewed beer, Hilferding began entering those. And, in 2014, he won the American Homebrewers Association's Homebrewer of the Year award.

    "That meant I had a beer that beat 8,000 other entries, from 3,000 brewers in six countries," Hilferding said....

    What was once a bank lobby — with wood ceilings and brick walls — is now the tasting room at Zephyrhills Brewing Co.
  11. Pasco Events for Nov. 18-24


    18 Friday

    Veterans benefits seminar: The mobile vet center will be on site; visitors can tour the vehicle. Veterans and their spouses, caregivers and other family members are invited. VA representatives, community resource representatives and vet center staffers will be available to discuss readjustment and transitional needs, and to connect veterans to VA and community resources. Lunch will be provided to those staying for the day's eight sessions; reservations required. Sessions include: readjustment counseling service, VA home-based primary care/medical foster homes, veteran burial benefits, elder law and new changes to caregiver benefits, foreclosures, modifications and short sales, claims, veterans preference, employment and VA mortgage/real estate. Veterans are asked to bring a copy of their DD214 form. 8:15 a.m. Free, but preregistration is required for individual sessions due to limited space. Pasco County Vet Center, 5139 Deer Park Drive, New Port Richey. (727) 372-1854....

  12. Pasco Events for Nov. 11-17


    11 Friday

    Veterans Day Pinning Ceremony and Breakfast: Bayfront Health Dade City and Gulfside Hospice invite all veterans and their guests to this special Senior Circle event. It will include a complimentary hot breakfast and a pinning ceremony for all veterans in attendance, provided by Gulfside Hospice as part of the We Honor Veterans program. Call to RSVP with name, branch of service, length of service, contact phone number and number of guests attending. 8 a.m. Free. Bayfront Health Dade City, 13100 Fort King Road, Dade City. (352) 518-1087....

  13. Pasco Events for Nov. 4-10


    4 Friday

    Book bazaar: Browse or buy used books, audio and video media, magazines and related materials. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City. Continues 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. (352) 567-3576.

    Fall Fest 2016: Two weekends of entertainment, food, games and carnival rides. The festival continues through Nov. 13. 5 p.m. to midnight Fridays, noon to midnight Saturdays and 1 to 10 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. Carnival rides $1 each, 12 for $10, 24 for $20 or all-day rider wristbands $25. Our Lady Queen of Peace, 5340 High St., New Port Richey. (727) 741-1922.

  14. Pasco events for Oct. 21 through 27


    21 Friday

    Fall plant sale: Held by the New Port Richey Gardening Club. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The New Lakes in Regency Park, 8330 Civic Drive, New Port Richey. (727) 484-6741. Continues during the same hours on Saturday.

    Friends of the Library biannual book sale: Funds raised will support library programming. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Land O'Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes. (813) 929-1214. (Note: This event continues during the same hours on Saturday.)...

  15. Famous Coney Island Drive Inn in Brooksville expands to Zephyrhills


    ZEPHYRHILLS — When John and Sally Lee purchased the iconic Coney Island Drive Inn in Brooksville in 2014, they not only purchased a longtime, popular hot dog restaurant. They inherited the wealth of history that came with it.

    Its walls are filled with nostalgia of a bygone era — old signs, license plates and other memorabilia. Legend has it that in 1961, the King himself, Elvis Presley, noshed on the famous hot dogs....

    Carter Lee prepares a hot dog at the new Coney Island Drive Inn that his family opened in Zephyrhills earlier this year.