About 8-9,000 people were in attendance on Dec. 1 at Brooksville’s Annual Tree Lighting event that took place downtown. This is a tradition that Main Street has had since 2017, marking the arrival of the Christmas season here in Hernando County. Executive Director of Brooksville Main Street, Natalie Kahler stated, “This is a can’t miss holiday event in Brooksville. This is something people can’t miss, a place where they bring the family and take family photos every year.”
In addition to the signature 30-foot, 8,000-light emerald-hued tree wrapped in scarlet red trim, this year marked the introduction of a 16-foot-tall ornament in which people can retreat to and take photos in a sleigh and even send letters to Santa Clause! Mark Reichard designed both festive pieces and they were welded by Archie Cooper.
“One does not bring thousands of people together without months of planning and dozens of people making it happen,” said Kahler. “Let me correct that – maybe you can do it without planning and people, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Brooksville was at its best because of solid partnerships and a spirit of generosity and cooperation.”
Kahler thanks three event partners, the City Government of Brooksville Florida, Hernando County Government and the Live Oak Theatre for each handling their responsibilities so beautifully.
Kahler also shouts-out business partners Patricia’s Boutique, who continued their time-honored tradition of making their windows come to life via a vivid yuletide display, The Hogan Law Firm for hosting a free kids’ crafts activity and Mulligan and Associates for hosting appearances from Santa and Mrs. Clause – giving 800 children the opportunity to meet and greet Father and Mother Christmas, take photos with them and get an adorable plushie stuffed animal to boot.
Kahler also would like to thank sponsors Lowman Law Firm and Lowman Family Foundation for funding the new Christmas ornament; and to Patricia’s Boutique, ProCivil360, LLC and Marilyn Pearson-Adams of Century 21 Alliance for their generous financial contributions. “Thanks to our vendors and downtown merchants for providing Brooksville with your wonderful products,” said Kahler. “Thank you to all our volunteers for hauling tables, handling concerns, hanging garlands, and doing so much behind the scenes so few will ever understand.”
The entire Brooksville community, said Kahler, understands and appreciates the tradition of the Brooksville Christmas tree lighting. “This is a chance to bring everyone together in one space,” she said. “May the love of community reflected in last night’s event be reflected in your entire holiday season and carry into the new year. See you on Main Street later this month as the fun continues!”