Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Hernando

Spring Hill Ethnic fest dishes out the fun

The 28th-annual Ethnic Festival returns to St. Joan of Arc.
Festival goers move through the midway during the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church's annual Ethnic Festival. This year's festival will be Oct. 17-20 at the church on Spring Hill Drive at Coronado Drive. [Tampa Bay Times | 2010]
Festival goers move through the midway during the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church's annual Ethnic Festival. This year's festival will be Oct. 17-20 at the church on Spring Hill Drive at Coronado Drive. [Tampa Bay Times | 2010]
Published Oct. 13

SPRING HILL — Sue Page has been helping out with the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Ethnic Festival since its inception 28 years ago. It was a much smaller event back then — a few small tents with children’s activities and crafts, and a small smorgasbord of foods made by members of the congregation.

“It was very, very small, more like a community festival," Page recalled. “But it has really grown tremendously over the years.”

In recent years, the event has become enormous in comparison — attracting more than 25,000 people to the church grounds.

The event includes carnival rides and games, stage acts, karaoke, a second-hand market and mini raffles to win a fire pit, Farberware, a television and other items.

But, of course, it’s all about the food.

The four-day festival features a number of food booths set up under a 120- by 80-foot tent, offering dinners fromPoland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain and Greece. The choices are many — from Polish pierogis and Irish corned beef to Greek gyros, Spanish empanadas and pressed Cuban sandwiches. There also will be American favorites, such as turkey legs, cheeseburgers and fries.

But don’t expect to see food trucks. Like the early years when the event was much smaller, all the food is prepared by members of the St. Joan of Arc congregation.

“We have such a great group of volunteers,” Page said. “We are so blessed. ... We even have Father Patrick Rebel grilling burgers."

Beer, wine and soft drinks will be available, along with a number of desserts, including funnel cakes, which are always a crowd favorite.

And along with the food is continuous entertainments, including the Gypsy Star Band, Chocachatti Hip Hop group, Eddie and the Cruzers, Father Eric’s Band, the Hernando Symphony Brass Band and others.

“It’s a great way to get some food, sit, eat and enjoy the entertainment," Page said. “It really is a lot of fun."

If you go

The 28th-annual St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Ethnic Festival will be from 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 17-18, noon to 10 p.m. Oct. 19 and noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 20, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 13485 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. Admission is free. Midway armbands at the gate are $25 Thursday, Friday and Sunday; Saturday armbands are $25 for either noon to 5 p.m. or 5 to 10 p.m., or $30 for noon to 10 p.m. Food prices vary. For information, call the church at (352) 688-0663.

Entertainment

Oct. 17

5 p.m. Opening Ceremony, God Bless America and opening prayer by Father Pat Rebel

5:30 p.m. Chocochatti Hip Hop

6:15 p.m. AK Dance Away

7 p.m. Klassic Kountry Kloggers

8 p.m. Eddie and the Cruzers

Oct. 18

5 p.m. Music

6 p.m. Dancecraft

6:30 p.m. Dancing Disciples

7:30 p.m. Rusty "V" Karaoke and Music

9:45 p.m. Stringer Band

Oct. 19

12:30 p.m. Dibaile Dance School and Ministry

1:15 p.m. AK Dance Away

2 p.m. Dancing Disciples

2:45 p.m. Music

3:30 p.m. Moon’s Tae Kwon Do

4 p.m. Music

5 p.m. Gypsy Star/Serenading the Moon

7 p.m. Music

8 p.m. Father Eric’s Band

Oct. 20

12:30 p.m. Music

1:30 p.m. Characters (Ariel the mermaid, a pirate, the unicorn with balloons and a sing-along)

3 p.m. Hernando Symphony Brass Band

4:30 p.m. Just Us Duo

6 p.m. Country Western Music with Rusty "V"

7 p.m. Mini raffle


ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. More than 1,300 summer and fall graduates were eligible to participate in the morning or afternoon commencement ceremonies Dec. 11 at the Pasco-Hernando State College New Port Richey campus. Approximately 345 degrees and certificates were conferred. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
    Two ceremonies were held at the New Port Richey campus.
  2. Rocky, Sally Mae, Marsali and Paisley are available for adoption at area shelters. [Times]
    Shelter pet offerings throughout Tampa Bay
  3. At Adventures in Music, administrator Rich Holley talks of the studio's performance based lessons that train students, young and old, to make music together. [BETH N. GRAY  |  Special to the Times]
    New studio offers private lessons and group sessions.
  4. The Sears in Brooksville, as shown in this captured image from Google Maps, will close next year. [Google]
    The store’s parent company had already announced the area’s last Kmart in Pinellas also is closing.
  5. Pinellas County Commission chairwoman Karen Seel said a Tampa economic development group's recent decision to put "Tampa Bay" into its name "does great harm to the progress we have made on regional collaboration."
    But in Tampa, the chief executive officer of the nonprofit, government-supported economic development group is giving no sign of backing off the new name.
  6. Dan Short, second from right, owner of Dan-Lo Jewelers,  speaks with Hernando County Sheriff's detective Anthony Belmonte, far right, during a news conference Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 in Brooksville. The Sheriff's Office announced that a trio of jewelry store burglars were arrested after robbing between $16 million and $18 million from places around Florida. [ZACK SAMPSON  |  Times]
    The trio targeted jewelry stores, making off with as much as $18 million, authorities say. They were finally arrested in Chicago.
  7. The May-Stringer House, home of the Hernando Historical Museum in Brooksville, has a reputation as haunted. Now, those who run the museum want to learn whether there's a forgotten cemetery on the property, too. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    More than 50 enslaved people plus the family that held them might be buried at the plantation-era Heritage Museum in Brooksville.
  8. Hernando County Government Center
    The proposal would place dense residential development in an area that is still rural, county planners say.
  9. The new Maydell Drive Bridge will be a multi-use bridge to cater to cars, bicyclists and pedestrians with travel lanes, 8-foot shoulders, and a barrier-separated 5' sidewalk & 10' trail. [Hillsborough County]
    Hillsborough County closed the bridge in December 2015 after an independent engineering study found it was structurally unsound.
  10. Kayakers line up at the boat launch at Weeki Fresh Water Adventures, a kayak and stand-up paddle board rental facility in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Michele Miller]
    Study recommends limiting visitors and where they are allowed to help prevent future damage.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement