Imagine you and your child’s delight as you take a festive, leisurely Yuletide stroll through downtown with appearances from your favorite holiday characters! Main Street Brooksville presents the Christmas Character Stroll happening now through Dec. 13 in downtown Brooksville. Here you will find life-sized wooden cutouts of characters such as Santa Claus and The Grinch posed along city streets and sidewalks. “This is our first Character Stroll. We thought we would add more activities and decorations throughout the downtown area this holiday season,” explained Natalie Kahler, Executive Director of Brooksville Main Street.
A total of 12 characters line this stroll, including Santa, The Grinch, elves, snowpeople, and other fanciful Yuletide figures. You may even see a mermaid. As people stumble across these imaginative, colorful creations, they can take photos with them and share them on social media if they choose.
All of the stroll characters were hand painted by these local businesses and organizations: City Hall Art Gallery, Florida’s Adventure Coast Tourism Bureau, Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce LINC Young Adult Professionals, Junior Service League and City of Brooksville Beautification Board, City Hall Art Gallery, Florida’s Adventure Coast Tourism Bureau, Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce, LINC Young Adult Professionals, Junior Service League and City of Brooksville Beautification Board.
“All of the cutouts are hand-painted by community partners,” said Kahler.
The cutouts were handmade by Forrester Made, a Spring Hill-based creator of wood art that was seen at the Brooksville Maker’s Holiday Market and the Festival of Trees.
Sam Forrester explained, “Forrester Made is myself Sam, my wife Christie, our son Linkin and Christie’s mom Robyn. We do most of our work from our garage in Spring Hill. We started selling our art at Markets and/or Vending events in early 2019. Fast forward to Small Business Saturday 2019 which is where we first met Natalie with Brooksville Main Street. She bought a small wooden pallet tree from us to display at the Festival of Trees that year. Fast Forward yet again to 2020, actually we’ll skip most of that, but we did make an actual wooden tree display for that year’s Festival of Trees. Finally let’s go forward just a little more to earlier this year. We made a Stork cut out for a baby’s arrival and soon after we were contacted by Natalie about the Christmas character cutouts.”
And thus, a creative concept was born.
“Natalie gave us a list of characters that she wanted to include and we got started. Most of the characters were drawn freehand with reference material from Google image search. Various objects in and around our shop were used for shape guides; Trash cans, buckets, paint cans, glue bottles, ect. Each character was cut out using a jigsaw and circular saw,” he said. “The ones with the layered elements were glued and screwed in place. We sanded the characters and added metal posts to stick in the ground and all that was left was to deliver so they could make their way to get painted.”
Now, these enchanted artworks have made their way to the streets of Brooksville.
“They’re put in the right places to get attention and to add light,” said Kahler.