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Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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An event to flip for

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The band plays their heart out, children dance, partake in games of tag and tumble in the grass.  Older couples slow dance, folks walk with their family dog on a leash (or in a stroller if they are of a small and fluffy persuasion.)  

Building connections and community is at the heart of Brooksville Main Street’s monthly Friday Night Live event.  The simple joys of life in a small town are on display every second Friday of the month in downtown Brooksville.   

Meeting and socializing with your neighbors and fellow community members, supporting mom and pop businesses as well as organizations that help those in need are some of those joys.  

Residents are thankful for the opportunity to gather with friends and neighbors to socialize, shop, eat and drink.   

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Robyn Optenberg Dixon, remarks,  “Best thing to happen in Brooksville since we moved here in 2002!!”
Mia Mariah Pugs, shares, “Yes! We did dance and sing! And met new people. And ate handmade pasta! AND, our 3 pugs and 1 mini-doxie loved the show!”

Friday Night Live in downtown Brooksville was launched March 9, 2018. It continues to be a popular destination for family friendly entertainment. There is a playground located next to the band shell for younger children to release some energy, while locals spread out on the lawn to listen to the live bands.  Craftsmen, artisans, cottage kitchen vendors and food trucks line Fort Dade Avenue adjacent to Hernando Park.

Last Friday Night, the talent on stage was gripping with the soulful and powerful voice of Betty Fox, of The Betty Fox Band. The energy of the Actual Bank Robbers, self described as “Indie Pop Rock Whatnots,” got the crowd moving, bringing with them some Key West vibe as they had just played for 7 nights at Sloppy Joe’s.

The charity of the evening was Operation HeartF.E.L.T. (Feeding Empty Little Tummies).  They had a tent set up next to the stage to collect donations for the nonprofit organization.  Each month features a different 501c3 community organization.  

Operation HeartF.E.L.T., a local 501(c) 3 non-profit organization gives backpacks full of non-perishable food to public school students every Friday. These represent a weekend’s worth of simple meals and snacks for children who might not otherwise have enough to eat.

“We want to thank Brooksville Main Street for choosing Operation HeartF.E.L.T. (Feeding Empty Little Tummies) as their Friday Night Live charity for this month,” remarked Patti Stepbach, Operation HeartF.E.L.T.  President. 

 “Operation HeartF.E.L.T. is a grass roots, 100% volunteer organization that feeds homeless and needy children through our weekend backpack program in Hernando County. Any opportunity for Operation HeartF.E.L.T. to share our mission with the community opens the door for us to add valuable volunteers to our organization,” she explained.

“We welcome anyone who would like to volunteer to help us. We also accept monetary donations, of which almost 100% goes to buy food. In addition, we also accept food donations,” said Stepbach. 

During the year, OperationH.E.A.R.T. has several fund-raising events.  The next major fundraiser will be the Ernie Chapman College Gameday event being held at Southern Hills on September 7. For tickets, please contact Looper Sports. 
For more information, find them on Facebook or go to the website www.operationheartfelt.com If you would like to volunteer or donate, call  352.754.5463.

Friday Night Live is organized by Brooksville Main Street. The event starts around 5pm and ends at 10pm. Admission is free. In addition to the bands there are food trucks, craft vendors, and adult beverages. The Brooksville Main Street organization is involved with many events throughout the year, including an arts market, Un-common-Ly Artsy and Christmas on Main Street. Downtown Brooksville is fast becoming a local destination.


Aug. 17 Brooksville Blues-In Cruise-In 5PM-9PM
(3rd Saturday of the Month)
20 N Main St, Brooksville, FL 34601
Live Music by Blue Z Band on the courthouse steps. 
$10 Car Show Entry fee. Trophies and Prizes awarded 8.00 P.M. by Fox and Krazy Dave.

Also on Aug. 17, Un-Common-ly Artsy Arts Market 5-9PM on Main Street between Fort Dade Ave and Jefferson St.

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