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Festivals celebrate rattlesnakes, flutes and macaroni and cheese

Musicals, art exhibits and other things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties


Brooksville Founders’ Day: There will be a full day of entertainment from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 19 throughout downtown Brooksville. Festivities include: a century period fashion show at 9 a.m. on the courthouse steps; the Taste of Brooksville from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; historic cemetery walking tour at 10 a.m. at Brooksville Cemetery (RSVP to 352-540-3806); Founders Day Victorian Tea at 11:30 a.m. at the Historic Brooksville Woman’s Club ($18 at the door); mural tours by local historian Jan Knowles (meet on courthouse steps) at 1:30 p.m.; the Brooksville Beard and Moustache Competition at 3 p.m. (register at; and the Blues-In Cruise-In Car Show from 4 to 9 p.m. The Un-Common-Ly Artsy arts market will kick off at 5 p.m. at Brooksville City Hall. The movie, Wonderpark, will be shown on the front field of Tom Varn Park. Bring a chair or blanket. Refreshments will be available. Main Street and downtown Brooksville.

Rattlesnake Festival: The 53rd-annual Rattlesnake Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 19 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City. This educational family event features rattlesnake and other wildlife shows, an arts and crafts village, music, bounce houses, children’s activities, fair rides, a pumpkin patch, entertainment and a food court. Benefits the Thomas Promise Foundation. Admission is $5, 2 and younger free. Call (813) 782-0000.

Macaroni and Cheese Fall Festival: Gourmet food trucks compete for the title of Best Mac-N-Cheese at this festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at SunWest Park, 17362 Old Dixie Highway, Hudson. With live music and inflatables for little and big kids. Benefits The Benevolution Foundation. Free admission; food/drink additional. Call (727) 518-4659.

Silverhawk Native American Flute Gathering: The annual event will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20 at Withlacoochee River Park, 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd., Dade City. Includes native American flute players, singers, storytellers and the “Sacred Thunder Drum.” There will be plenty of native foods, such as Indian tacos, fry bread and buffalo burgers, plus hamburgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, homemade ice cream, drinks and more. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. No alcohol allowed. Pets on leashes welcome. Camping available. Free admission and parking. Visit or call (813) 763-2118.


Rattlesnake Festival concert with the Bellamy Brothers: This will be the local country duo’s first appearance at the Rattlesnake Festival since 1968. Gates open at 5 p.m. Oct. 18; the concert starts at 7 p.m. at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City. Beer and refreshments will be available. Tickets are $40 general, $75 reserved seating. (813) 782-0000.

Camping with the Blues: The three-day festival returns for its sixth year and features a full lineup of blues music, such as Tony Holiday Blues Band, Mark Telesca Band, Taylor Made Blues Band, Peter V Blues Train, Lauren Mitchell Band and others. It will be from 4 p.m. Oct. 18 to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, south of Spring Lake on the Hernando/Pasco county line. There will be children’s activities, vendors and food available. Camping is optional; family and dog friendly. Single-day and weekend passes are available. Tickets $25-$75; ages 12 and younger free. Camping separate. Call(941) 758-7585 or visit

Hannah Kerr on The Faith Tour: The Christian artist/songwriter will perform songs from her new EP Listen More at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at Grace World Outreach Church, 20366 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. The EP’s six-song project includes the Top 20 hit, Split the Sea. General admission, $25; VIP, $70. Visit or call (785) 332-4830.

On stage

Songs for a New World: The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and continues weekends through Oct. 27 at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. This “theatrical song cycle” features music by Jason Robert Brown. The show has snippets of stories, such as a pregnant woman’s expression of wonder at creation, the story of a would-be basketball star aching to escape failure and the lament of a couple who broke up, only to find their separate ways led to nowhere. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 25; 2 p.m. matinees will be Oct. 20, 26-27. Tickets are $25 adults, $15 students. Call (352) 683-5113 or visit

'Songs for a New World' continues weekends through Oct. 27 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. The "theatrical song cycle" featuring a cast of four performing a variety of story snippets to the music of Jason Robert brown. Pictured in the back, from left: Paris Seaver, Anthony Agnelli and Nicki Poulis. In front: Jay Garcia. [Carol Ballard]

Denying Gravity: The award-winning play by SAGES Theater will be presented at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at Heritage Springs Golf and Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. The show takes the audience through twists and turns between comedy and drama in the life of Claire, a retiree who makes a minor misstep and finds, like Alice, she’s fallen down a rabbit hole into the realm of the unexpected. EMTs from Pasco County Fire Rescue are cast in cameo roles. Admission is free. Call (727) 536-7076.

Legendary Sirens Perform: This nostalgic show will take you back to the early years of Weeki Wachee Springs by the ladies who created the magic. The former mermaid show will be at several times starting at noon on Oct. 19 and 20 at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. Includes performers representing the decades from the ‘40s to the ‘70s. Included with regular park admission prices: $13; $8 for ages 6-12; free for ages 5 and younger. Call (352) 592-5656.

The Amish Project: The Royal Knight Stage Company of River Ridge High presents The Amish Project at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-19 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students at the door.

In the Heights: Gulf Middle Theatre Department presents In the Heights at 7 p.m. Oct. 25, and 2 and 7 p.m. Oct. 26, at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. The cost is $5 at the door.

Always ... Patsy Cline: More than a tribute to the legendary country singer, the show is based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with a fan and features 27 songs, including Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight. Evening shows and matinees continue through Oct. 27 at the Show Palace Dinner Theater, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Tickets are $29-$59. Visit, call (727) 863-7949 or email to

Art events

#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.

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America: The multimedia traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution is available through Nov. 9. at the Hernando County Mining Association Enrichment Center, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville. It is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays. The exhibit showcases the role of sports and recreation in American culture. Upcoming special events include: Professional sports photographer Joe DiCristofalo will present “Sports Photography: Through the Lens, Images from the Sidelines” at 11 a.m. Oct. 19.; HYL Day: Round Table Discussion, “Shaping Lives Through Sports,” will be at 11 a.m. Oct. 26. The roundtable discussion will include representatives from Hernando Youth Leagues and other local youth sports groups. The Smithsonian exhibit is hosted by the Historic Hernando Preservation Society and City of Brooksville Parks and Recreation. There is no cost to attend. Call (352) 540-3830 or visit

Energized by Color: The exhibit wraps up Oct. 20 at the Pasco Fine Arts Center, 4145 Fairford Drive, New Port Richey. Featuring works by Annie Harris. Call (727) 845-7322.

The Monarch Project Art Show: The show wraps up Oct. 19 at Out of Our Hands Gallery, 14245 Seventh St., Dade City. The reception will include light refreshments. This art show is to support a community effort to protect and promote the Monarch butterfly and its habitat, created through a partnership between the city and the Dade City Garden Club. Free. Call (352) 437-3204.

“Big and Little” exhibit reception: This exhibition of large and small scale artworks continues through Oct. 31 at the West Pasco Art Guild and Gallery, 6206 Jefferson St., New Port Richey. Call (727) 841-7732.

Spectacular Color: The exhibit is on display through Nov. 9 at the Uptown Art Gallery at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Admission is free. Call (352) 540-3810.

Kim McIntosh exhibit: Paintings of artist Kim McIntosh are on exhibit through the end of October at Gateway Gallery and Emporium, 6216 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. Admission is free. Call (727) 815-1222.

Moments in Time: The exhibit is on display through Oct. 21 at the new Avalon Park Gallery, 33613 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel. It features the works of award-winning artist Suzanne Natzke, a signature member of the Florida Watercolor Society. Visit or; call the Pasco Fine Arts Council at (727) 845-7322.

Look ahead

Nature Coast Seafood Festival: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 26, Linda Pedersen Park at Jenkins Creek, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. Admission is $5; free for children 11 and younger, and veterans. Visit

Oy Vay Cabaret: Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show time at 7 p.m. Oct. 26, Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., Spring Hill. Featuring Carla Becker and other singers and entertainers. Tickets are $18 and must be purchased in advance. Visit or call Carla Becker, (352) 428-9946.

Columbus Day Festa: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 26, St. Theresa Catholic Church, 1107 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. Hosted by the Sons and Daughters of Italy, Nature Coast Lodge 2502. Free admission. Call (352) 683-7713 or (352) 442-0238.

Other Hernando events

18 Friday

Academia Hernando Fall 2019 Lecture Series: The topic is “A New Year ... A New Decade ... A New Song,” presented by Joy Katzen-Guthrie. This is a look back to melodies that ended and began each new decade. At the piano, Joy shares memorable news, events and melodies from 1900 to 2020. The lecture is part of a series that continues each Friday through Nov. 8. Sponsored by the Residence of Timber Pines and the Tampa Bay Times. $9 per lecture. 10 a.m. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Spring Hill, 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. (352) 686-4035.

19 Saturday

Bird Walk: Hit the Pepper Creek Trail for a 3/4-mile hike in search of native birds. Binoculars and field guides suggested. Free. 8 a.m. Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, 4150 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa. (352) 628-5343.

Methodist Men’s Flea Market: The Methodist Men will host this indoor and outdoor event in the fellowship hall and Lighthouse buildings. Vendor spaces available: Indoor spaces are $25 and include a 6-foot table; outdoor handicap slots are $25, but no table included; and outdoor parking slots are $15 and no table included. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill, 9344 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. (239) 271-9073.

Firearms Safety Class: This is an introductory orientation class for new shooters. All materials and equipment needed for the class and live fire training is provided to students, including the use of a .22 caliber firearm, ammo, earplugs and eye protection. Pre-register @ (352) 597-9931. Pre-registration required 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hernando Sportsman’s Club, 16121 Commercial Way, Brooksville.

First-Time Homebuyer’s Class: The Hernando County Housing Authority, in partnership with Solita’s House, provides this free class on the third Saturday of the month (second Saturday in December). Registration is required. Visit to register. Or contact Kim Murphy at Free. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Arc Nature Coast Education Center and Regional Evacuation Shelter, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. (352) 754-4160, ext. 3.

Map and Compass: Learn how to read a map and navigate terrain using a compass. This class is offered only twice a year at Chinsegut and is recommended for youth and adults 12 and older. Registration is required and can be done online at or by calling the center. Free. 10 a.m. Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville. (352) 754-6722.

Books and Bubbles Car Wash: United Way of Hernando County’s Student Board will host this fundraising car wash. Proceeds benefit the United Way’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library program to support early childhood literacy. Visit Suggested $5 donation. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Verizon-Cellular Sales Spring Hill, 4160 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. (352) 688-2026.

Hoedown for the Hungry: People Helping People in Hernando County hosts this event that includes cocktails and line dance lessons starting at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., followed by a short program with prizes. Proceeds go to benefit various programs of People Helping People, a nonprofit organization that serves the homeless and those in need in Hernando County. $50. 6 p.m. Saturday. St. Anthony the Abbot Catholic Church, 20428 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. (352) 650-4521.

20 Sunday

Good Neighbor Trail Bike Ride: The ride begins and ends at the historic 1885 Russell Street Train Depot. Walk-up registration and check-in for preregistered participants is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Includes a continental breakfast. There are several ride courses: 10 miles, 20 miles, 35 miles or 65 miles. There will be stops along the trail for water, sports drinks and food. Restrooms will be available at all stops. A catered lunch will be provided between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Coney Island Drive Inn. Hosted by Brooksville Main Street. $45 for those who register by Oct. 19, and $50 on event day. 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Russell Street Park/Good Neighbor Trailhead, 70 Russell St., Brooksville. (352) 540-6409.

22 Tuesday

Congestive Heart Failure Series: Presented by Oak Hill Hospital’s Care Assure Patient Nurse Navigators Rebecca Voda, a certified heart failure nurse, and Lisa Cierpka, certified case manager. Held in the sixth floor South Tower family waiting area. This is part of a monthly education series held on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Visit Free. 3 p.m. Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. (352) 597-6333.

Mediterranean Cuisine — Healthy Eating on a Budget: Learn why Mediterranean food is often lauded as one of the healthiest, and learn to whip up wholesome and robust dishes. Presented by Chef Warren Caterson. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Hernando County. Free. 4 to 5:30 p.m. West Hernando/S.T. Foggia Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave, Spring Hill. (352) 754-4043.

23 Wednesday

Coming to Your Senses: Learn techniques to enhance gardening experiences. Sensory and therapy gardening will be discussed. Presented by Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator Lilly Browning. No registration needed. Free. 10:30 a.m. Spring Hill Branch/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. (352) 540-6230.

24 Thursday

Florida’s Cranes: Tim Dellinger will present an overview of sandhill and whooping cranes in Florida, with a focus on the natural history of our non-migratory subspecies. Dellinger is an assistant research scientist at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, part of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 7 p.m. Community Activity Center, 205 E. Ft. Dade Ave., Brooksville. (352) 686-0460.

Other Pasco events

18 Friday

New Port Richey Garden Club Plant Sale: The annual fall sale of plants, shrubs, succulents, desert rose and Staghorns, priced as low as $2. Free. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 10271 Casey Drive, New Port Richey. (404) 402-5065.

19 Saturday

Pancake Breakfast: All-you-can-eat pancakes, plus sausage links or patties, fresh scrambled eggs, orange juice, coffee or tea. Adults $5, Children $1. 8 a.m. Saturday. St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 7922 State Road 52, Hudson. (352) 683-6441.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s: This Alzheimer’s Association walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Free. 8 a.m. Saturday. Starkey Ranch District Park, 11880 Lake Blanche Drive, Odessa. (904) 326-3112.

Vendor and Craft Market: More than 45 vendors selling art and craft items, along with music, food and health screenings. Free. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. St. Anne Byzantine Catholic Church, 7120 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. (727) 810-3545.

Regency Park Association Annual Bazaar: Vendor spaces are available for $20 for a 10-foot table. Proceeds will benefit SOLVE of West Pasco, an organization that helps low-income families with children from birth to 6 years. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Regency Park Civic Center, 10240 Regency Blvd., Port Richey. (727) 863-0196.

Halloween Smash Beach Volleyball Tournament: A two-day volleyball tournament with brackets for men’s, women’s and coed doubles. Saturday night, players and fans are invited to an after party with live music, food and drink specials. Benefits the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. $60-$70. 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Tiki Cove, 2700 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. (813) 683-0385.

Museum Open House: See four operating train layouts, along with military dioramas and doll house miniatures. $9, 11 and younger free. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Suncoast Center for Fine Scale Modeling, 2645 Success Drive, Odessa. (727) 460-5872.

Fall Arts and Crafts Show: A fall-themed display by local artists and crafters with face painting, kids crafts, photo booth and a raffle. Free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gulf View Square Mall, 9409 U.S. 19, Port Richey. (727) 277-3039.

Native Plant Sale: The Florida Native Plant Society’s Nature Coast Chapter will host this sale that includes a large selection of plants, free literature, native plant books for sale and a Master Gardener information table. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. (813) 929-1229.

Garden Fest: The Read and Seed Community Garden at Land O’ Lakes Library is hosting this event that will include hands-on learning with free gardening activities for all ages. Presenters include Master Gardeners, Hollie’s Farm and Garden and an observation hive from Beelicious Honey. Free. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes. (813) 929-1214.

Nature Coast Orchid Society Auction: Previews of orchids up for auction starts at 11 a.m., bidding begins at noon. There will be hundreds of orchids to bid on. VFW Post 8681, 18940 Drayton St., Shady Hills. (218) 556-1855.

Hex-A-Long Interactive Movie: Children and families are invited to watch the classic Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus. Guests will be encouraged to shout, sing, cheer and scream along. Each attendee will receive a goody bag full of candy and other surprises. Costumes are strongly encouraged. Free. 1 p.m. South Holiday Library, 4649 Mile Stretch Road, Holiday. (727) 834-3331.

Sukkot: Celebrate the Feast of Booths with food, music and a message. Free. 5 p.m. Beth Shalom Messianic Congregation, 6902 Congress St., New Port Richey. (727) 375-7502.

20 Sunday

Wesley Chapel Shabby Chic Vintage Market and Artisan Day: A series of do-it-yourself workshops and paint demonstrations, along with the sale of gently used clothing, art, furniture and antiques. Free. 10 a.m. Sunday. Grove, 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel. (727) 674-1464.

21 Monday

Hearing Clinic: Free ear wax removal and hearing aid batteries. No appointment needed. First-come, first-served. Free. 10 to 11 a.m. CARES Elfers Center, 4136 Barker Drive, Elfers. (727) 807-7082.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop: Participants learn problem-solving and decision-making techniques for managing issues common to people with chronic diseases. This is the first of a six-class program. Preregistration and attendance at all classes are required. Free, but class size is limited. 1 p.m. CARES Rao Musunuru, M.D. Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson. (727) 863-6868.

Light Up the Night: Enjoy cocktails and appetizers as you learn about human trafficking. Benefits the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to raise awareness to end human trafficking. $80, $150 two. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Noble Crust at Wiregrass, 28330 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. (813) 703-2602.

22 Tuesday

Volunteer Way Mobile Food Pantry: The Volunteer Way will have its mobile food pantry/emergency food assistance program at the library on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Noon to 2 p.m. Hudson Regional Library, 8012 Library Road, Hudson. (727) 815-0433.

23 Wednesday

Nature Brunch Series: This portion features a “Bees Butter Biscuit Brunch.” Learn about bees and make your own butter biscuit on a stick with smokey egg and prosciutto cooked over an open fire. $12. 10 a.m. Pioneer Florida Museum, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City. (813) 789-0904.

24 Thursday

World Polio Day Hope Luncheon: The Rotary club of Hudson hosts this picnic-style lunch. Proceeds will benefit the Polio Foundation. A presentation will be given by Rao Musunuru, M.D. $10. 11:30 a.m. CARES Rao Musunuru, M.D. Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson. (727) 992-8344.

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