May 19, 2022

NEW THIS WEEK Strawberry Festival this weekend

The 35th annual Floral City Strawberry Festival will be held March 5 and 6 in Floral Park, Floral City.

Live music will be played from the main stage with a full performance lineup. Saturday will begin with Southern Express Band from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by headliner Xhale from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday’s lineup includes Lonesome Ride from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. with headliner Rick Lynn and Clint Byron closing out the festival from 1 p.m to 4 p.m.

Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle

All the favorite events will be back this year as well, including the pie eating contests and prince and princess pageants.

Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Entrance fee is $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Free parking is available at the Citrus County Auditorium, 3610 S. Florida Ave., Inverness. Free shuttles will be provided.

For more information, visit or search “Floral City Strawberry Festival” on Facebook.

Experience the power of folk musicThe Nature Coast Community Band (NCCB) presents “The Power of Folk Music” at 3 p.m. March 5 and 6 at the Citrus Springs Community Center, 1570 W. Citrus Springs Blvd.

Folk music has been a significant part of every culture with songs and dances passed on through many generations and still popular today. All NCCB performances have free admission, but donations at the door are appreciated.

For more information, visit naturecoast

Paul Todd onstage in Homosassa

The Arts Council of Homosassa First United Methodist Church will host Paul in concert at 3 p.m. March 5, 8831 W. Bradshaw St. in Homosassa.

Although is first and foremost a Christian artist, his concerts include original, classical, popular and Broadway selections. Paul travels with his son, Paul Jr., a gifted singer, songwriter and percussionist.

General admission is $15 with $20 reserved seating. For more information, call 352-628-4083 or visit

‘Kids’ Corner and Crafternoon’ to kick off

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum presents their new schedule, beginning with a grand kickoff from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 5 at the museum, 1 Courthouse Square in Inverness.

The day includes a free program for children, which will take place on the first and third Saturdays of the month thereafter. Residents will also be able to enjoy the farmer’s market on the first and third Saturdays of the month at The Depot in Inverness.

On March 5, the first “Kids’ Corner and Crafternoons” will include arts and crafts, a storyteller, live music, vendors and community organizations.

Attend the Chronicle’s home, outdoor show

Attend the Citrus County Chronicle’s Spring Home and Outdoor Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 12 at the Florida National Guard Armory, 8551 W. Venable St. in Crystal River.

Meet helpful and knowledgeable home improvement vendors including remodeling, decorating, kitchen and baths, flooring, windows, solar, landscaping, roofing, heating and air conditioning and much more.

For more information, visit

Landscape painting class to be held at mall

Second generation Florida Highwayman Kelvin Hair, son of Alfred Hair who was one of the first Florida Highwaymen, will be teaching a class at Paint the Town Citrus at the Crystal River Mall.

He will be giving students step-by-step instructions on painting a Florida landscape scene. It will be a one-day class from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 19 and will include beverages, food, and all the supplies needed to take home a 16- by 20-inch painting.

Call 352-601-1344 for details.

Enter the Nature Coast Exhibit No. 4

The Art Center of Citrus County announces the Nature Coast Exhibit No. 4 at the Art Center of Citrus County, 2644 N. Annapolis Ave. in Hernando. Take-in is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23 and pickup is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 4.

The entry fee for two works is $15 for members and $30 for nonmembers. The cost is $5 for each additional work up to five. The artist reception is from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. March 25. Refreshments will be served and winning works announced. The reception is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit

Weeki Wachee Winds slate concerts

Weeki Wachee Winds, led by Conductor Mark Hengesh, will present their free Winter Concert on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13. Both concerts begin at 2pm. Unlike previous concerts, no tickets will be required.

On Saturday March 12, the concert will be presented at Spring Hill United Church of Christ at 4244 Mariner Blvd., at 2 pm. On Sunday afternoon, March 13, also at 2 p.m. the concert will be presented at Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee.

Attend a concert: ‘A Light in the Darkness’

The Citrus Community Concert Choir presents their spring concert, “A Light in the Darkness,” at 2 p.m. April 9 at Faith Lutheran Church, 935 S. Crystal Glen Drive in Lecanto, and 3 p.m. April 10 at the First Presbyterian Church of Inverness, 206 Washington Ave.

The concert features songs about love, loss, light and hope to comfort, inspire and uplift. Songs include a new arrangement of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “City of Stars” from the “La La Land” film and “Lullabye” by Billy Joel.

The concert will also feature a string quartet and pianist Sally Smith-Adams. The concert’s centerpiece is a modern requiem in English, written in 2018 by Michael John Trotta. This eight- movement work uses poetry and scripture to convey the deep feelings one experiences at the loss of a loved one.

Tickets are $10 and students are admitted free. Proceeds go to fund the choir’s scholarship program. For more information, visit

Bobby Palermo concert at Methodist church

The Arts Council of Homosassa First United Methodist Church will present Bobby Palermo’s Christian Concert on April 3 beginning at 3 p.m. at the church.

Palermo, a Vietnam veteran, has been a headliner in the renowned Las Vegas show “Legends in Concert” for many years, performing a tribute to Neil Diamond throughout the United States and many other countries. He has been a favorite performer for Citrus County audiences.

This concert is free; a love offering will be accepted. For more about upcoming performances at Homosassa First United Methodist Church, visit online at

Nature Coast Carving Club to have sale

The Nature Coast Carving Club will have a sale at 9 a.m. May 7 at 6228 E. Gospel Island Road in Inverness.

The show is $2 per person and funds from all pieces sold will remain in the craftsman’s pocket. The type of art covers the entire spectrum of wood craftsmanship.

The club’s mission is to enjoy and learn a new hobby that comes from ancient roots. It began in Inverness in 1989. At one time, they had more than 150 active members. Because of the pandemic and the passing of older members, they now have 60 members that meet four times per week throughout the county.

All sessions are free to members and membership is $15 per year. There is no age requirement to join and the club has members from Citrus, Marion, Hernando, Sumter, and Lake Counties. Approximately 50 percent of the club are women. For partners who wish to join, the second membership is $5.

For more information, visit

River Riders to hold annual fundraiser

The River Riders Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) will join with motorcyclists from all over the world to ride on their annual fundraiser day, Run for the Son, which raises millions of dollars to provide transportation, supplies, and video resources for missionary pastors all over the world.

The ride will begin with a free pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. on May 7 at Crystal Harley-Davidson, 1147 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa. Registration for the fundraiser is from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

A group ride will leave at 10:15 a.m. and travel to Otter Springs Park and Campground where riders from all over northwest Florida will converge for free lunch, bike games, live entertainment by Remnants Altar, door prizes, silent auction and opportunities to donate.

For more information, contact Mickie O’Donnell, president, at 457-228-3736 or email [email protected]

ONGOING AND COMING UP Audition for ‘Once Upon A Mattress’

Audition for the Art Center Theatre’s summer musical, “Once Upon A Mattress,” at 10 a.m. March 5 and 2 p.m. March 6 at the Art Center of Citrus County, 2644 N. Annapolis Ave. in Hernando.

“Once Upon A Mattress” is a comedic rendition of “The Princess and the Pea.”

All auditions will be in the rehearsal hall/main hall. Everyone should have a prepared piece of music to audition with. Auditioning with a piece of music from the show is encouraged. No pre-recorded music. Those auditioning will also be asked to read a scene from the script.

There are 22-plus named characters of varying ages. Actors, singers and dancers of all ages are needed.

Show dates are July 15-17, 22-24 and 29-31. For more information, visit

Camera Club hosting guest speaker

The Citrus County Art Center Camera Club will host a talk by nationally known wedding photographer Ken Voegele at 7 p.m. on March 7 at the art center.

This will be an in-person presentation in the visual arts hall. Guests are welcome. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Voegele and his wife Sue owned and managed one of the largest wedding photography businesses in Chicago before retiring and moving to Citrus County. He still continues his camera craft and offers help for anyone needing it. Voegele’s talk will be “Five Steps to Better Photography.”

For more information contact club chairman Jim Houle at [email protected]

Register for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. March 12 in historic downtown Inverness. Attendees can expect the following:

Parade in the downtown area: 4 p.m.

Fairy and leprechaun costume contest: 5 p.m.

On-stage performance by Lochlann: 6 to 9 p.m.

Free performances by the School of Dance Arts: 6, 7 and 8 p.m. at the Valerie Theatre, 207 Courthouse Square

Kids activities, games and face painting: 6 to 9 p.m.

To register for the parade, visit the Inverness Government Center, 212 W. Main St. or email [email protected] The registration deadline is March 8.

Attend Fort Cooper Days 2022

Attend Fort Cooper Days 2022 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 12 and 13 at Fort Cooper State Park, 3100 S. Old Floral City Road in Inverness.

Experience Florida history as you witness a re-enactment of an attack on Fort Cooper during the Second Seminole War (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.). In addition, visit with individuals who will offer living history demonstrations and exhibits.

Kids can enjoy games especially geared toward them. All can stroll or hike the park trails under generations-old oak trees. Food and refreshments will be available.

Admission is $8 for those 13 and older. Those 12 years and under enter for free. For more information, call 352-726-0315.

Register for the Big Bass Classic

The Big Bass Classic is back – and it’s bigger than ever. Enjoy big bass, bluegrass and barbeque from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 19 at Liberty Park, 300 N. Apopka Ave. in Inverness.

Entertainment is provided by Florida’s own Rekindled Bits of Grass and Duck Wallow Lane. This event features barbeque selections from many local favorites, along with $1,000 payouts for the biggest bass each hour and other prizes.

Those who are not participating in the tournament can stop by and enjoy the festivities. Music kicks off at 9 a.m. and the barbequing begins at 10 a.m. To register for the tournament, visit

Orchid society to have show and sale

Attend the Nature Coast Orchid Society’s 2022 “Dancing with the Orchids” show and sale at 10 a.m. March 19 and 20 at the VFW, 18940 Drayton St. in Spring Hill.

Enjoy gorgeous colors and scents with the beautiful exhibits. Exhibits are judged by the American Orchid Society. There will also be raffle giveaways and vendors with plants and supplies.

General admission is $3. For more information, visit

Attend a play: ‘Something to Hide’

The Art Center Theatre presents “Something to Hide” at the Art Center of Citrus County, 2644 N. Annapolis Ave. in Hernando at the following show times:

7:30 p.m. March 25

7:30 p.m. March 26

2 p.m. March 27

7:30 p.m. April 1

2 and 7:30 p.m. April 2

2 p.m. April 3

7:30 p.m. April 8

7:30 p.m. April 9

2 p.m. April 10

A basinful of mishaps and misunderstandings occur in the second of Leslie Sands’ “Seaside Trilogy.” When Mr. and Mrs. Pepper return to the Seaview guest house to celebrate their first anniversary, they encounter the dragonish proprietress Mrs. Austin, are surprised by the unexpected arrival of their in-laws and are driven to distraction and separation by the glamorous Miss Windermere.

Together, this unlikely gathering stumbles across a couple of small-time crooks and sets out to foil their dastardly capers and win the day.

For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit

Museum to host family game night

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum presents a free Family Board Game Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 2 at the museum, 1 Courthouse Square in Inverness.

Families will have the chance to see the museum exhibits downstairs, then join museum staff and volunteers in the historic courtroom to play Citrusopoly, Ticket to Ride, checkers and chess.

For more information, visit

Presentation: ‘Scribbling Women in Florida’

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum will host a “Coffee and Conversations” speaker at 7 p.m. March 10 at the museum, 1 Courthouse Square in Inverness. Events focus on historical elements of Florida’s cultural heritage.

Betty Jean Steinshouer presents “Scribbling Women in Florida.” Steinshouer came to Florida with “Willa Cather Speaks” in 1989. Floridians convinced her to add Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to her repertoire and moved to the state to do research.

She has since toured 43 states, presenting humanities programs on women authors and other topics. In 2004, she was named a fellow in Florida studies at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Her book, “Long Road from Red Cloud,” was awarded a 2020 International Book Award. Steinshouer’s program details the lives of 12 women authors who put Florida on the map.

Programs are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Guests can join in-person or watch on YouTube by searching “Old Courthouse Heritage Museum.” Call 352-341-6428 or sign up at

Attend a bird walk on Pepper Creek Trail

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Citrus County Audubon will host a bird walk at 8 a.m. March 19 along Pepper Creek Trail, 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd. in Homosassa. Participants should meet at 7:45 a.m. at the entrance to the park’s visitor center.

Experienced and novice birders are welcome. An experienced birder from Citrus County Audubon will lead the walk.

The birding trail is one of 19 in Citrus County that are part of the west section of the Great Florida Birding Trail.

If you have binoculars and a field guide, bring them. However, they are not required. There is no charge to participate in the bird walk. Pepper Creek Trail is fully accessible, approximately 3/4 mile in length and follows along the park’s tram road, connecting the visitors’ center on U.S. 19 and the west entrance on Fish Bowl Drive.

Participants can either walk back on the trail or wait and take a returning tram after the park opens. For more information, visit

Woman’s Club to have art, craft fair

The GFWC Crystal River Woman’s Club spring art and craft fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 26 at the club, 320 N. Citrus Ave.

There will be a wide variety of items available such as wreaths, lamps, jewelry, fused glass, bottle lights, embroidered items, photography, greeting cards, ornaments, etc.

The GFWC is also seeking vendors for the event. There are a few inside spaces left. Outside spaces are also available. For more information or to receive a vendor application, call Holly at 352-564-2541.

Presentation: ‘Chucochatti, Conflict at the Red Town, 1836’

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum will host a “Coffee and Conversations” speaker at 7 p.m. April 7 at the museum, 1 Courthouse Square in Inverness. Events focus on historical elements of Florida’s cultural heritage.

Speaker Sean Norman presents “Chucochatti, Conflict at the Red Town, 1836.” Norman is assistant director of Gulf Archaeology Research Institute (GARI) and specializes in the geoarchaeology of coupled human-natural ecosystems in coastal environments.

His presentation discusses the recent historical and archaeological investigations conducted by GARI to document evidence of the villages of Chucochatti and the U.S. military actions in the region. Established in 1767, Chucochatti was among the oldest Seminole villages located in central Florida.

Programs are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Guests can join in-person at the museum or watch on YouTube by searching “Old Courthouse Heritage Museum.” Call 352-341-6428 or sign up at

World’s Greatest Baby Shower in April

The 2022 World’s Greatest Baby Shower is coming up April 28 at Cornerstone Church, 1100 W. Highland Blvd., Inverness.

The free event is open to all expectant parents and parents of children younger than 12 months old. Choose one of two sessions: 2-4 p.m. or 5-7 p.m.

Activities will include a scavenger hunt, exhibits, games, door prizes and plenty of information.

For more information, visit

Attend a night of music at the museum

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum is a historical gem at the heart of Downtown Inverness. The proud structure has stood for more than 100 years.

Tickets for the 2022 Music at the Museum Concert Series, hosted at the Old Courthouse Museum, 1 Courthouse Square in Inverness, are now available. Doors open at 6 p.m. and shows start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and include after-hours access to the museum’s exhibits, appetizers and open seating. A cash bar is available, which helps support fundraising efforts.

Dates and musical acts include:

Cool Corporate Cats featuring Joe Donato: March 17

Craig Singleton and the Big City Band: April 21

Financial support of the Inverness Cultural Heritage Council benefits the council, Old Courthouse Heritage Museum exhibitions, educational programming and scholarships. Partnerships and sponsorships are always available.

For more information, call 352-341-6428 or email [email protected]

CF to host free public art forum

The College of Central Florida invites the community to learn more about public art at a free forum from 12:30 to 2 p.m. March 7 at the CF Citrus Campus Charles S. Dean Sr. Educational Center, 3800 S. Lecanto Highway.

In this panel discussion, three Florida public art professionals will explain what public art is, why it is important and why it is created. They will provide in-depth information on types of public art, how it creates better communities, technical aspects and how artists can get involved.

Panelists include Oaklianna Caraballo, art in state buildings administrator for the University of Florida and vice president of the Florida Association of Public Art Professionals; Cecilia Lueza, studio and public artist since 2000; and Pamela Zeljak, associate principal at Manifold Creative Concepts and founder and principal of Creative Icon Arts.

A light lunch will be provided. For more information about CF events, visit

Attend a garden club flower show

The Garden Club of Crystal River is hosting “Loving Our Nature Coast: A National Garden Club Flower Show” from 1 to 4 p.m. March 29 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 30 at the Coastal Regional Library, 8619 W. Crystal St. in Crystal River.

The theme is “Loving our Nature Coast” and will highlight the rivers, springs, festivals and cities of Citrus County. Presentations include “Getting Ready for Spring in the Garden,” “Growing and Care of Camellias” and “Understanding the Art of Floral Design.”

An entire room will be dedicated to horticulture. See local plants grown by experienced gardeners, learn the botanical names of plants and speak to local growers. This show is free and open to the public.

The Garden Club of Crystal River meets the second Monday of each month from September to May at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, 1070 N. Suncoast Blvd. in Crystal River.

Valerie Players seeking members

A community theater group is planning a series of plays at the Valerie Theater in Inverness.

Artistic Director Patrick Erhardt said the Valerie Players needs performers, directors and people to work behind the scenes.

The remaining season will include: “Psychic,” April 22-24, 2022; and “On Golden Pond,” June 17-19, 2022. The theater also will sponsor a 10-Minute Playwriting Festival, and the winning works will be produced Sept. 16-18, 2022.

For information, contact Erhardt at: [email protected]

Hernando Ukulele Jam to meet

The weekly Hernando Ukulele Jam meets at 11 a.m. for intermediates and noon for beginners every Tuesday at the Historic Hernando School at the intersection of U.S. 41 and County Road 486. The event is free and open to everyone.

Attendees should bring their favorite ukulele and a music stand if they have one.

For more information, call 352-566-2328.

Acoustic music jam at the library

The Nature Coast Dulcimer Players host an acoustic music jam from 3 to 5 p.m. most Mondays at the Central Ridge Library community room, 425 W. Roosevelt Blvd. in Beverly Hills.

A beginner group meets from 2 to 3 p.m. in the same location.

Adults of all levels are welcome to join. For more information, call 352-746-6622.

Test your brain at trivia nights

Continuing in 2021, Citrus County Parks and Recreation will have free virtual trivia nights at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Mondays of each month, excluding holidays.

Test your brain against the brightest minds of Citrus County. Pre-register at least 24 hours prior to the event at to receive the video chat trivia links.

For more information, call 352-527-7540.

Socialize at Café Break!

Among the wellness programs offered by Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast at its Wings Grief Center, 8471 W. Periwinkle Lane (gold building on right) in Homosassa Springs is Café Break!

At Café Break! Anyone grieving or lonely can find a safe place to socialize with others, work puzzles, play games or chat over a cup of coffee and snacks for 2-1/2 hours starting at 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and at 9 a.m. Thursdays.

For more information or to join this program that follows CDC guidelines, call 352-249-1470.

Community center open mic nights

Citrus County Parks and Recreation presents open mic nights from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. the last Wednesday monthly at the Citrus Springs Community Center at 1570 W. Citrus Springs Blvd. at Citrus Springs.

Vocalists, musicians, poets and comedians are welcome at this all-ages event. No profanity is allowed.

Social distancing guidelines will be followed. Masks will be required to enter the building, but not by performers during stage time.

For more information, call 352-527-7540.

Join the Women’s Mahjongg Club

A Women’s Mahjongg Club is forming for residents of Sugarmill Woods. The version that will be played is the Wright-Patterson (not the American version).

They will meet every Wednesday at a resident’s home. For information, contact Maria at [email protected]

Join the Floral City Crafters

The Floral City Crafters meet from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays at the Floral City Baptist Church, 8545 Magnolia St.

The crafters are a group of knitters, crocheters, quilters, jewelry makers and more who share their love of crafts and spend time together. Attendees can bring their crafts or learn a new one.

There is a $2 fee for each weekly meeting. For questions, call 352-637-5423 or 352-726-5658.

Meet, read with the Sunshine Poets

Join the Sunshine Poets’ monthly meeting and poetry reading at 10 a.m. on the last Thursday of each month at the Central Ridge Library in Beverly Hills.

Attendees are welcome to bring poems to share, or just listen. If you would like the members to critique your poems, bring several copies on which they can write suggestions. Attendees are also welcome to join the group afterward for lunch at a local restaurant.

Additional details are available on the Sunshine Poets Facebook page. For questions, contact Cheri Herald, Sunshine Poets president, at [email protected]

Senior program hosts free ukulele classes

The Hernando Area Senior Program is hosting free ukulele classes with Joy Wilson at noon on Tuesdays at 2415 N. Florida Ave. in Hernando. All skill levels are welcome.

Attendees must comply with COVID-19 guidelines and masks are mandatory. Due to limited space, participants should call ahead to make a reservation. For additional information about these activities, call 352-527-5484.

Citrus Bridge Club resumes in-person play

After almost two years of playing bridge online, Citrus Bridge Club has resumed playing face-to-face games at 1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in the Tree Top Plaza, 1647 W. Gulf-to-Lake Highway in Lecanto.

As a bonus, Ruby Life Master Mike Swartz now offers a series of beginner lessons from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays. While geared toward the beginner player, current bridge players will also find Swartz’s lessons are a good refresher.

In an effort to keep all participants safe, proof of vaccination will be required for the regular games and for Swartz’s lessons. Masks are recommended but optional.

For more information or to sign up, contact Swartz at 352-212-5529 or [email protected]

Inverness Bridge Club offers free membership

A limited number of players can join Inverness Bridge Club free to play either duplicate or party/rubber bridge at noon, Mondays and Fridays. The club plays a friendly game that is not sanctioned by the ACBL that normally lasts between 2.5 and 3 hours. For information, email [email protected] Provide your name, preferred times and ways to reach you.


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