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Valentine’s Day Outings in Hernando

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A lovely day of romance and celebration custom designed to bring people closer together, Valentine’s Day is set to be celebrated lavishly across Hernando County by way of some fun, festive events that can be shared in kind by couples, families, and friends.

Local residents are encouraged to add magic and beauty to their Valentine’s Day by way of a literal horse-drawn Cinderella carriage ride through the streets of historic downtown Brooksville.

Country Depot presents enchanting Valentine’s Day carriage rides featuring Avalon West Carriages and elegant horse-drawn journeys that will be offered on Wednesday, February 14th, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“Create everlasting memories as you and your loved one embark on a scenic carriage ride under the stars through the picturesque streets of Historic Downtown Brooksville,” read an event notice. “Revel in the beauty of the surroundings as Avalon West Carriages takes you on a journey of romance.”

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John Loetscher, owner of Country Depot, first offered his carriage ride promotion during the Yuletide season of 2023.

“This is our first ever Valentine’s carriage ride,” he said. “Guests will be riding in Cinderella carriages provided by Avalon West.”

Couples who seek a personal carriage ride experience can book a private carriage experience for $100. “Most of those who have booked so far have chosen the couple option,” said Loetscher.

Individual reservations are $25 per person, making it a perfect option for friends and families who would also enjoy a good old-fashioned carriage ride. “They can share their ride with whoever they choose,” said Loetscher.

Regardless of the option they choose, guests will be treated to a 20-minute ride that whisks them down the avenues of historic downtown Brooksville.

“I’ve chosen this route to help promote the businesses of Brooksville,” said Loetscher “We encourage riders to enjoy dinners at downtown restaurants, shop at local businesses, and admire historic homes.”

“This is a great way to see downtown Brooksville.”

Limited slots are available for these delightful Valentine’s Day carriage rides. To reserve your carriage, visit the Country Depot at 36 N. Broad Street, Brooksville, Florida.
Contact John Loetscher directly at (813) 297-6276.

In their endless beauty and romanticism, art and wine are both ideal Valentine’s Day gifts; and through an upcoming event at the Weeki Wachee Area Club, guests will be invited to create their own sublime sample of colorful V-Day artwork.

Wine tasting and wine glass painting will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Weeki Wachee Area Club, 7442 Shoal Line Blvd.

“This is a great way to explore your taste and habits, with these wines coming from the major wine regents of the world,” read an event notice.

At the Wine Tasting and Wine Glass Painting, Hernando artist Autum Proctor of Traveling Art Parties will guide guests in the painted adornment of fine-crafted stemmed glasses. Guests are encouraged to exercise their creativity as they treat the wine glass as their personal canvas, painting vivid and lovely images across the canvas.

Maryann Johnson, president of the Weeki Wachee Area Club, describes this event as a team effort and a fun idea conceptualized by Area Club members.

“We kind of came up with it as a last-minute thought,” said Johnson. “Frances Wolf, a wine lady with PRP wines (which are wines coming from first pressings of grapes with no added chemicals, no added sugars and no added sulfites), reached out to us to do a tasting as did

Kelly Dodson, who always thinks of crazy, fun stuff. I had been to one of France’s events, saying how nice it was.” “We thought we should do this event and loved the wine,” she said. “That made this an easy decision.”

Johnson plans the gathering as a grand celebration of food, art and fun. “I asked Autum Proctor, an art instructor who we have had at the club before, if we could put the two together if the club bought all the stemware and did a nice Charcuterie Board for a fun pre-V-day event,” she said. “That’s Monday, February 12th, at 5:30 p.m..”

Autum Proctor is pleased to return to the Weeki Wachee Area Club. “Always a great time when Traveling Art Parties gets to work alongside the Weeki Wachee Area Club!” she said. “We’ve had a few events together, and I can’t say enough what an amazing group of people they are to work with! Looking forward to this upcoming event!”

Tickets for the wine tasting and wine glass painting are $25. Call Autum Proctor at 603-560-5003 for more information.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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