By MEGAN HUSSEY
Celebrate Christmas all month long in downtown Brooksville, where Brooksville Main Street's Historic Downtown Brooksville program is hosting a full schedule of Yuletide events and activities for all ages and every taste. "This is the time of year when people come out of their homes and businesses to meet downtown," said Natalie Kahler, executive director of Brooksville Main Street. "This is how we spend Christmas as a community."
The celebration is already underway, where the Festival of Trees runs now through Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hernando Park Bandshell Building. "We have 16 trees donated by local businesses and nonprofits, all of which are entered in a silent auction," said Kahler. "People can enter bids in the silent auction when they tour the display." Whether they choose to bid on a tree lined with conventional decorative ornaments or novelty trees lined with unique items such as bicycle parts, participants will be supporting Main Street programs such as the downtown Mini-Mural and signage projects.
Many more community holiday happenings are planned this month in downtown Brooksville. Friday Night Live Christmas Edition, Night Market and Food Trucks will take place 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Hernando Park Bandshell. "Representatives from local music and dance schools and groups will be singing and dancing," said Kahler. And in continuance of a community tradition, the Kiwanis Christmas Parade will be celebrated 10 a.m. Dec. 14 in downtown Brooksville.
"This is a longstanding tradition that this year will feature 125-150 floats," said Kahler. "Thousands of people are expected to line the streets for this two-hour parade." Also on Dec. 14, the Destination Brooksville Christmas Festival will be celebrated noon to 6 p.m.; a premiere event in which participating businesses will offer free activities for the public. Cookies and eggnog will be served noon to 5 p.m. at The Mirador. And at AKA Salvage & Designs, Pet Pictures with Santa--along with vendors, food and treats--will be available 5-8 p.m. Santa and His Reindeer Featuring the Christmas Circus Show will take place 6-8 p.m. at Hernando Park. Dec. 18 and 19. "Santa will appear with live reindeer, and Cirque Adventure acrobatics of Orlando will perform," said Kahler.
Tickets for this event will be sold for $5 each and will be available at the Festival of Trees, Small Business Saturday, the Tree Lighting, or the day of event at the library entrance to Hernando Park. On Dec. 21, Arts & Autos--featuring a car show with prizes and exhibitors offering handmade artworks--will run 2-6 p.m. at Main Street and Fort Dade. Also that evening, the Florida Cracker Christmas concert featuring The Bellamy Brothers will be performed 6-11 p.m. at Florida Cracker Kitchen. Tickets for the concert are $10 each and benefit Operation HeartF.E.L.T.
In keeping with another Christmas tradition, Christmas Carriage Rides will run 6-10 p.m. Dec. 12, 19 and 20, departing from the courthouse. Reservations are made the day of the rides starting at 4 p.m., and range from $5-10. A seasonal variation on a timeless physical art will be offered Dec. 6 and 7 in Brooksville. Lida Marie Steinkamp will lead Holy Yoga 5 p.m. at Brooksville Yoga. And Dec. 7, a Yuletide Yoga session will be conducted 9:30 a.m. at The Bistro. Each session costs $10. "This will be yoga set to holiday music," said Kahler.
More music will be on tap through the free Christmas on Main Music program, which will take place 6 p.m. at the courthouse and feature performances by Al Chance Dec. 6 and 21, Dance First Dec. 7, Parrot Middle School Dec. 12, Dell Barnes Dec. 13, Hernando Symphony's Brass Quartet Dec. 14, Stir Up the Gift Dec. 19, and Wesleyan Church King's Bells Dec. 20. Live Snow presentations will follow each concert. As expected, Old Saint Nick will be out in full force for many of these Yuletide activities. Christmas Dinner with Santa will be served 6-8 p.m. Dec. 11 at Little Lady Cafe; and Santa at the Christmas Tree will be presented 6-9 p.m. at the Courthouse.
"Kids will get to have their photos taken with Santa," said Kahler. "These are kid-friendly events." For more information, visit https://www.historicdowntownbrooksville.com/.