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Hmmm. A Thanksgiving run or a Thanksgiving bluegrass festival?

Things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
Appalachian Road Show performs Nov. 29 during the Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville. [Shore Fire Media]
Appalachian Road Show performs Nov. 29 during the Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville. [Shore Fire Media]
Published Nov. 18
Updated Nov. 19


40th-annual Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival: The annual festival kicks off with a Thanksgiving dinner at 2 p.m. Nov. 28 (turkey provided, bring a dish) at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, Brooksville (on the Hernando-Pasco county line). Music starts at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 28, and at 11 a.m. Nov. 29-30. Featuring an all-star Bluegrass lineup, including Appalachian Road Show, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Rekindled Grass, Gypsy Wind, Carolina Blue and others. Tickets vary from $25-$95; $5 for ages 10-16, with ages 9 and younger admitted free. Camping is available (separate fee). (828) 265-9929.


Chopin Project 2019-20 Concert Series: World-renowned pianist Matthew Graybil will perform at 3 p.m. Nov. 23 at Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. Graybil showcase the styles of several composers, including Schubert, Chopin, Brahms and Liszt. The free performance is part of the Chopin Project, a community outreach program aimed to connect a global community based on the work of Fryderyk Chopin. Donations are welcome. Call (813) 966-1933.

On stage

Merlin’s Fall Festivities, Comedy and Magic Show with Cesar Domico: The magician will perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23, as well as a 2 p.m. afternoon show on Nov. 23, at Merlin’s Theater, 7148 Congress St., New Port Richey. Tickets are $10-$17.50, with VIP seating an additional $5. Visit or call (727) 748-8800.

The Little Mermaid: Live Oak Theatre’s production of the Disney musical wraps up this weekend at the Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. It is the classic Hans Christian Andersen story about a mermaid who gives up her voice to find love in the world above the sea (but with a happy Disney ending). Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Nov. 23 and 24. All shows include coffee, tea and dessert. Tickets are $20 adults, $5 ages 13 and younger (with paid adult). Call (352) 593-0027; visit or

Eje Walters (left) as Sebastian the crab narrowly escapes Chef Louis' (Greg Mys) cleaver in the Live Oak Theatre production of The Little Mermaid. Shows wrap up this weekend at the Morsani Center of the Arts in Brooksville. [Kure Walters]


Field of Dreams Car Show: The show, featuring all makes and models of cars, trucks and specialty vehicles, will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 24 at Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, Brooksville. Trophies will be awarded. There will also be a car corral, swap meet, arts and crafts, a DJ with music, as well as food vendors. Spectator admission is $5, free for ages 12 and younger. Call (813) 956-3503.


Living History — Civil War: Reenactments on the Raid on the Salt Works will be offered at this living history event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 and 24 at Pioneer Florida Museum, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City. The reenactment will be at 2 p.m. each day. Visitors can tour encampments to see how people lived during the Civil War. There will be traditional craft demonstrations, a period fashion show, a tea, music by the 7 Lbs. of Bacon Mess Band and concessions. Bring lawn chairs. Admission is $10, $5 students, and free for ages 4 and younger. Call (352) 567-0262.


Festival of Trees: A collection of decorated Christmas trees created by local businesses and organizations will be showcased Nov. 25 through Dec. 9 at Hernando Park, 205 E Fort Dade Ave, Brooksville. All trees will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Brooksville Main Street Program’s mission to revitalize historic downtown Brooksville. Call Brooksville Main Street at (352) 540-6409 or visit

Symphony in Lights Tree Lighting: The Shops at Wiregrass annual display of lights, dancing to music by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, continues from 6 to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 31 at 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. The mall’s giant annual display includes holiday decor and snow. Call (813) 994-2242.

Art events

My World through Watercolor: A reception for the exhibit of Lionel Sanchez paintings will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 22 at the Pasco Fine Arts Center, 4145 Fairford Drive, New Port Richey. Sanchez is a signature member of the Florida Watercolor Association. The exhibit remains on display through Dec. 20. (727) 845-7322.

Through My Eyes: This is an exhibit of works by artist Rita Wilson, which will be on display Nov. 25 through Dec. 23 at the Pasco Fine Arts Council’s East Pasco Avalon Park West Gallery, 33613 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel. A reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13. The exhibit is free. All are welcome. Call (727) 845-7322 or visit

West Pasco Art Guild Holiday Bazaar and Boutique: The reception of the guild’s annual bazaar and boutique will be from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 at the West Pasco Art Guild and Gallery, 6206 Jefferson St., New Port Richey. The bazaar/boutique continues through Dec. 28. Call (727) 841-7732.

Toasting the Holidays: The exhibit is on display through Jan. 10 at the Uptown Art Gallery at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Admission is free. Call (352) 540-3810.

The Great Americans Alzheimer’s Awareness Photo Exhibit: The exhibit is now on display through the end of the year at the West Hernando/Staffordene T. Foggia Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Weeki Wachee. The exhibit features large framed portraits on canvas of 24 famous American artists, musicians, athletes, actors, politicians, and authors who have succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Designed and sponsored by Coping with Dementia, the traveling exhibit is an educational initiative of the Alzheimer’s Family Organization, a non-profit charity that provides services and support for caregivers of individuals living with dementia in eight west-central Florida counties, including Hernando County. Contact the Alzheimer’s Family Organization at (352) 616-0170 or visit

People’s Choice Competition: Voting is underway through Nov. 30 at Gateway Gallery and Emporium, 6216 Grand Ave., New Port Richey. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. An awards ceremony will be 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6. Call (727) 815-1222.

“Expressions of Thanks” Youth Art Contest: Student artwork honoring veterans and those serving the military is on display through Dec. 1 at Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54, Trinity (in the hospital lobby and dining room). Featuring works from students in kindergarten through 12th grade from Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Call (727) 834-4868.

#AVGEEK exhibit: The exhibit continues through Dec. 11 at the Rao Musunuru, MD, Art Gallery at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. Artist Gabriel A. West’s passion of aviation, aerial photography and rare airplane models. Currently training as a pilot, West is an “AvGeek” and a four-time winner of photo contests hosted by major international airports in south Florida. Admission is free. Call (727) 816-3231.

Other Hernando events

22 Friday

Hernando Audubon Beginning Birding: Learn to identify birds at feeders and during a short walk. There will be binoculars and bird guides available for use. Free. 8 a.m. Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville. (352) 686-0460.

Paws and Claus Holiday Art and Craft Fair: This is a benefit for Paw Warriors and Jimmy’s Angel Rescue, two animal rescue groups. Featuring more than 50 local artisans offering unique handcrafted items. Food and beverages will be available. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 13485 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. (352) 796-1414.

The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker: Once a bird distributed throughout the southeast, the red-cockaded woodpecker is a story of tragedy and hope. Listen to how this resilient little bird shapes the pine forest ecology, then take a trip to see some woodpeckers as they return to their evening roosts. This is a three-hour program that includes a 20-minute drive to the roost. RSVP to attend. Free. 3 p.m. Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville. (352) 754-6722.

23 Saturday

Race For Cupcakes Trail Run: This is an inaugural run around several lakes in the preserve. There will be hydration stations and a large gourmet cupcake for runners at the finish line. Finishers get a cupcake medal, trail running light and a foldable water bottle. Trophies will be awarded to top finishers in age groups. There will be portable restrooms available. Visit $20-$45. 9 a.m. Weekiwachee Preserve, 2345 Osowaw Blvd., Spring Hill.

Wellington Residents Craft Show: Featuring a wide variety of crafts. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wellington at Seven Hills clubhouse, 400 Wexford Blvd., Spring Hill. (352) 799-1086.

Look ahead

10th-annual Fall Family Festival: Celebrate Black Friday at the annual Christ-centered evening of fun and fellowship with a big bonfire, music, hayrides, popcorn over a fire, s’mores and games. Food will be available for purchase. $5 per person, $15 per household. 4 p.m. Nov. 29. Lakewood Retreat Christian Camp & Conference Center, 25458 Dan Brown Hill Road, Brooksville. (352) 796-4097.

Snow Bash! 2019: Featuring snow and a sledding area, music, games, vendors, food court and a variety of entertainment. Hosted by the SEED Foundation. Visit $5 per person; parking is $5.50. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30. Tom Varn Park, 306 Darby Lane, Brooksville.

Other Pasco events

22 Friday

Creative Carbohydrate Options: Presented by a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Free. 10 a.m. Morton Plant North Bay Hospital, 6600 Madison St., New Port Richey. (727) 953-6877.

23 Saturday

About Boating Safely: This is the state-mandated class that earns the Florida Boating Safety Education Card. Cost for November and December classes has been reduced to $25 per person (typically $40). Includes class, digital library and processing with the state. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Center, Hudson Flotilla, 9135 Denton Ave., Hudson. (727) 697-8013.

ELFers Merry Marketplace: Vendors sell arts, crafts and specialty products in the festively-decorated former brick schoolhouse. Admission and parking is free. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CARES Elfers Center, 4136 Barker Drive, Elfers. (727) 992-2249.

Resume Workshop: A resume can make or break one’s chance at an interview. Learn what needs to be included, the best language to use, how to format it and how to make it stand out. Library staff will show the best programs and templates to use. Bring your own device or use one of our laptops. No registration required. The program is part of the Professional Development Series in November in honor of National Career Development month. Free. 10 a.m. Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. (813) 929-1214.

The Instant-Pot: Kitchen Wonder or Temporary Fad with Chef Warren: Join Chef Warren as he discusses an Amazon best-seller, the Instant Pot, one of the most popular brands of pressure cookers. Visit Free. 2 p.m. Regency Park Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey. (727) 861-3049.

25 Monday

Card party and luncheon: Hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary of St. Vincent de Paul Church. $7. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Father Farrell Hall, 4843 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday. (727) 389-0518.

Kids Craft: Thanksgiving Centerpieces: Geared for ages 5 to 12, who will make Thanksgiving centerpieces. Registration required. Free. 2 p.m. Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. (813) 929-1214.

Cook-a-Book: Turkey Trouble: Geared for children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to find out why they will be making personal pizzas instead of turkey this Thanksgiving in this month’s Cook-A-Book program. The story, Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano will be read. Registration required. Free. 4 p.m. Regency Park Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey. (727) 861-3049.

26 Tuesday

Seasonal Ukulele Songs at Hugh Embry Library: Learn to play favorite holiday tunes on the ukulele. Participants can borrow a ukulele from the library or bring their own. Free. 10:30 a.m. Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City. (352) 567-3576.

Volunteer Way Mobile Food Pantry: The Volunteer Way will have its food pantry available through its Emergency Food Assistance Program. The mobile unit is at the library the fourth Tuesday of each month. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. (727) 861-3040.

Ginger Beer Workshop: Adults 18 and older are invited to learn about ginger beer with the adult services librarian, Catherine. Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic beverage popular in Britain and North America from the 18th century until prohibition. Learn how to make a ginger bug as well as ginger beer. The type of bug made in this class is lactobacillus, similar to the process used to make kombucha. A signed liability waiver is required. Registration is recommended, but not required. Free. 6:15 p.m. Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. (813) 929-1214.

27 Wednesday

White Elephant Bingo: Play bingo at the library. Winners get to choose from a stash of prizes or another player’s loot. Players can bring fun items to add to the prize table, but it’s not required. Free. 2 p.m. Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. (727) 861-3040.

Stroke of Genius: Those wishing to learn how to paint can learn easy techniques to help improve painting prowess. The program will include painting realistic flowers using a one-stroke technique. Materials will be provided (or bring your own). No registration required. Free. 2 p.m. South Holiday Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Road, Holiday. (727) 834-3331.

28 Thursday

Gobbler 5K and Fun Run: This fundraiser for First Christian Academy in New Port Richey is a chipped 5K Race and a 1-mile Fun Run through Starkey Wilderness Park on Thanksgiving morning. Strollers and pets are allowed. Race bib, T-shirt, medal and trophies for registrants. $30-$40. 7:30 a.m. J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd., New Port Richey. (727) 480-6084.

Look ahead

Coin and Stamp Show: Coins, currency, bullion, jewelry and stamps bought, sold and appraised. Free. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 30. Aripeka Elks Lodge 2520, 9135 Denton Ave., Hudson. (727) 534-7597.

Peace, Love and Funk Fest: Shopping among an unusual collection of vendors, set to live music by the Black Honkeys. $10. 1 to 7 p.m. Nov. 30. Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. (727) 674-1464.

Richey Concert Band: The concert will include seasonal and holiday favorites. Free. 2:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. (727) 236-9897.

Handbells Christmas Concert: The Suncoast Bronze Ringers, a handbell ensemble under the direction of Michael Lamb, will present “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” a mixture of Christmas carols and familiar seasonal tunes. Donations accepted. 3 p.m. Dec. 1. Trinity Presbyterian Church of Seven Springs, 4651 Little Road, New Port Richey. (727) 868-6365.

To submit an event, please visit and click on the “Add Event” tab. Please be sure to submit it at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure publication. For further information, contact Phyllis Day at Follow @pdaytimes.


  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.