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Festival to raise new roof

Hernando County's annual Fall Festival begins Saturday with this year's proceeds helping pay for a new roof at the Heritage Museum in Brooksville.

"We need to make lots of money at our festival this year," said organizer and museum director Virginia Jackson. "Our roof is 100 years old, so it's about time it gets replaced."

The one-day annual festival will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Museum, 601 Museum Court, which is at May Avenue and Jefferson Street.

Entertainment will include Civil War re-enactors, who will set up Union and Confederate camps. Hot dogs, chili and soft drinks will be sold, and about 40 people have rented booths to peddle their wares.

Tours of the 100-year-old museum will be offered at $2 for visitors 13 and older and 50 cents for children 12 and younger.

Proceeds from the festival and museum will help pay for renovations of the 100-year-old structure, which volunteers of the Hernando Historical Museum Association began in August.

The festival is one of four ways the museum association earns money for the building's upkeep. In addition to association dues, the group hosts the Heritage Days Festival in February and the Brooksville Raid re-enactment in January.

Renovations originally were planned for a first-floor room, but water began seeping through the ceiling of the second floor, and museum workers discovered the roof needed repairs costing $12,800.

The $20,000-renovation job is the biggest since the museum association acquired the house in 1981. The museum originally was built as a four-room cottage in 1856. It was expanded by a prominent doctor in 1880.

The group so far has received a $1,100 grant from the state and a $500 donation from the county to help with renovations.

Jackson expects at least a thousand visitors throughout the day but hopes attendance is better this year than last year, when the festival was held in September.

Festival Facts

What: The Heritage Museum Fall Festival

Who: Sponsored by the Hernando Historical Museum Association Inc.

Where: Heritage Museum, 601 Museum Court (May Avenue and Jefferson Street)

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

How much: Admission to festival is free; museum admission $2 for those 13 and older, 50 cents for those 12 and under

Highlights: Merchants selling goods, Civil War re-enactment, displays, museum tours

Information: For more information, call the Heritage Museum, 799-0129