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The Florida Blueberry Festival Will Not Return to Brooksville, New Location to be Announced

BROOKSVILLE – Sad news for thousands who have enjoyed the fun, food and entertainment of the Florida Blueberry Festival, after organizers announced they will not return to Brooksville next year.

According to the Event President, Michael Heard, the decision was made by the Festival’s Board of Directors but she did not want to comment further on what prompted the decision. Heard did say the festival would return at a new location in 2019.

There is speculation that an undisclosed conflict between Festival Organizers and the Brooksville City of Council may have led to the recent decision, but hat has not been confirmed.We spoke to Interim City Manager Lyndon Bonner who said, “You know about as much as I do,” regarding why the festival pulled out of Brooksville. Festival organizers were planning to sign a lease with the City to relocate the festival but that recently fell through, says Bonner.

Last April marked the 6th and last Annual Blueberry Festival to be held in Brooksville.

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  • So have a festival with out the “festival board of directors” involvement. They are not the only ones that can organize an event. If Brooksville wants a blueberry festival just organize it with different people, if they have a patent on the name, change the name to something else. On a different note this past festival was the only one I attended, enjoyed the bands but thought everything else was way over priced so just paid the entrance fee and watched the bands, didn’t buy anything. If the prices had been halfway reasonable would have spent some money.

    Friday, 23 June 2017, 7:12 am
  • I was offered a job by the event president and was speculative from the start because I know the harsh, stubborn, and down right nasty personality of this bully of a woman. I chose to attend a staff meeting anyways before making a decision. I was appalled By the character and sickened by the motivation of her job offer to me. She is a snake. There are good, honest, and knowledgeable people in the city who are capable of organizing an event that grows local business, this event was ran by an outsider who will plow down anyone for her own agenda. Congratulations Brooksville for weeding out a venemous threat. Needless to say, I did not accept the job.

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 10:09 am
    • Tell us more,Lou…def sounds worthwhile to get an insiders scoop!

      Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 12:41 pm
  • For anyone interested,***** news had info concerning festival on tuesday morning approximately 8:46 to 9:15 a.m. segment. Funny how they got a bit more info on this. Why can’t hernando county be as ” honest ” with local reporter and “we the taxpaying people” as with outside news people??????

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 9:42 am
  • It seems to me there is no oversite on community events. The public that participates is robbed blind and there is zero accountability. They want the public to pay so the organizers can play.
    I will give a small example 4th of July. 10.00 to park, 5 to 10 to enter. The people that can afford that are setting off their own fireworks.

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 9:15 am
    • Idiots everywhere, do you really think a fireworks show does not have expenses? It cost money to put on shows like that especially when you take into account to Fairgrounds sheriff’s department and all the workers. If you don’t want to pay then don’t go. I won’t miss you.! If you do want to go then save all year if you need to and then you will have the money. Why should we cancel an event just because you don’t want to pay? If I do t no d paying then I should be able to enjoy the event. Moving the festival’s causes my money to leave the county. Shared cost is part of life. No one is supposed to get a free ride.

      Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 3:22 pm
      • JUST A FYI….I was a part of a community that fund raised. Let me tell you how we did it and it was with integrity and open books…We had a 501 (c)3 now mind you we had multiple ones… ie for 4th of July, Christmas, Bargin days ….Mind you this is a small town and less than 100k people in the whole county…SO with our non profit we had cars, TV’s ,alarm systems, lawn care ect all donated…The donors got the writeoffs and we were able to sell raffle tickets and make bank…
        And accommodate many poor people..The problem here is all of you old cronies dont want a sense of community. Look around you…Most people do not spend money shopping or visiting the local merchanys here…We go toTampa, St.Pete, Clearwater …Mini malls strip shopping centers smoke shops and liquor stores dont quiet do it…So, if you really care, Tom can give you my email address BTW , I wont be attending your shitty fireworks show and I dont need to save for a whole year…I could sponser you for the next 50 years and still have cash in the bank. But sadly,I have a contract on my shithole and will be moving on to greener pasture. I will stay in touch via RNRF

        Wednesday, 21 June 2017, 1:30 pm
        • Bye! Thank you for making our county better.

          Thursday, 22 June 2017, 6:23 am
  • Wonder where the money went ? Try the president of this event.She has a paid staff,spokesperson,and car fare back and forth to Brooksville to her home in Ft Meyers,and the rest of a lavish(un questioned) expense account.This is where the rip off starts…..

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 8:31 am
    • Did intend to say car “service” which includes a paid driver……

      Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 4:38 pm
  • What, after Ms. Heard got the City Council to approve the ridiculous lease to even go so far as to build permanent structures for her festival on city property (Tom Varn Park), she pulls out of Brooksville? That took some nerve. She obviously doesn’t give a damn about Brooksville.

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 7:15 am
  • I agree that this festival was not about Brooksville or the county to start with. They began by kicking out local tennis players, etc..

    But the bigger problem is the City and County government. They should be promoting this area with local oriented events, tourism etc.. They have let things go that they clearly shouldn’t and then blame others while they pocket money. Last year we lost three Hernando County staples, the Bayport pier, the Pine Island sunset viewing deck and the observation tower at Linda Pederaen Park. Two of those were storm damaged and the third was vandalism. Why had there been no effort at all to replace them? Do we not have insurance? Somebody got paid. Are we waiting to arrest somebody for vandalism and expiecting that scum to pay for it? Those things should have been promptly fixed to show the strength and viability of this county. Wrong message to send to the decent people we would want to attract instead of all the scum we now have.

    We still have the mermaids thanks to the State, but the damn county can’t capitalize and plan around that given all the high demand the river has of late. Instead of companion attractions for all the people heading to that area from all over, we have a no-tell motel across the street that literally leads the county in crime reports. Oh and another dollar general. Are we trying to scare people away?? WAKE UP COUNTY!! Do something!

    Tom, maybe you can get the latest lame pass the buck excuses why the county doesn’t do anything to repair or replace our beautiful features. How but they save the excuses and get the job done. Where’s the insurance money?

    Anyone else wonder why these things have become eyesores and left as lawsuit risks while screaming that this county isn’t where decent families want to live?

    Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 1:10 am
  • Called red light cameras wake up Brooksville people.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 11:04 pm
  • I don’t know about anyone else, but the moment Brooksville installed those for-profit red light cameras, the libertarian in me refused to go anywhere near there. Plenty of places to spend my paycheck on the west side of Hernando.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 10:39 pm
  • Crooksville, can’t stand that place. That town will never mount to anything but a dot on a map.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 10:11 pm
  • In your photo I see2 blueberries

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 9:48 pm
  • Ask where the money went. I think the whole thing cost tax payers. Good riddins See ya, Stay gone.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 9:46 pm
  • I have never met a more rude bunch of folks to n my life. Michael Heard is not a nice person. She talks to everyone like a dog. She needs a good swift kick in the CU&T. It would be my pleasure to kick her there. While I’m at it the exCity Manager Jennene Norman Vahca needs and one too.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 9:14 pm
  • Kerry, how can you follow the money trail when the powers that be will NOT BE TRANSPARENT ( aka government in the sunshine )????? If b’ville isn’t crooking us WHY won’t they open books to public that pays their salaries???? Luv a nurse it is a dump . The county pasttime is getting drunk, raising trash kids, getting drunker, falling down drunk, running dogs all over, causing trouble and teaching next generation to do the same. To fund raisers mean raising money exactly WHO are the funds being raised for??? Try and get into the “organization” that is so good old boy it’s like a closed union shop??? Who , besides yourself, are you trying to kid??? Your b’ville is one of the most prejudiced places I’ve ever been in. Not from “family blood”?? Don’t dream you”ll be accepted here. GET REAL!!!!!!!!!

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 9:09 pm
  • praise God, they won’t be missed

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 8:31 pm
  • Follow the money! Its right in front of you if you care to look. I ran community events of this magnitude. Never seen such a level of out and out theft of the consumer. Watch where it goes and follow the money trail.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 7:29 pm
  • So once again here in area 51 another event vanishes with out a trace taking the money with them ! only to return in 2 years after the probing ends.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 7:00 pm
  • I do not think Brooksville got a fair deal from the event manager for this event. The whole fair was over priced and was nothing in favor of Brooksville. So now this comitte can take the fair to pinellas where the event manager is from. That is what was wanted all along any way, so go for it. I will not go to any other Bluberry Feastival again.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:36 pm
  • oh well still support your local blueberry farmers. There are a bunch of very nice you picks. At about 25 percent of store prices and a much better quality. Plus fresh is always better. I heavily support our local farms. We have some really amazing local farms here in Hernando county if I didnt already

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:35 pm
    • I agree I just took my girls to one by California st and Powell and it was $5 to fill up a bucket and 10-15 for anything bigger my girls loved and so did I 🙂

      Monday, 19 June 2017, 9:30 pm
  • A good dose of karma for everyone before eating humble pie. Many of us have tried with all we had to do our part to make Brooksville a great City. One we can be proud to say our family has been a part of for many generations past and look towards many future ones. I am sad to say I have failed in this and I suspect I am not alone.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:19 pm
  • Most people are absolutely right, it did nothing for the town accept cause roads to be closed…I mean to ride the giant slide was 20 bucks…really?? So if you got 3 kids 60 bucks for a slide ??? We have nothing here anyway….and what is around here should be taken down because it’s so against code violation …the airport flea market is a dump and rip off and so shady …and SO MANY CODE VIOLATIONS,then you have the dumping grounds for fairs and other stuff that’s steals money. from people who live hear year round ….that’s crap!! Brooksville is a joke period… I’ve never had to be stuck in such a dump in all my life ……this town should be so proud of themselves…. NOT!!! oh and I bet, the billboards will stay up the same way also…????

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:15 pm
    • Luv A Nurse Not everyone at the flea market is a rip off and shady.I deal with a few nice reasonable people when I go.Just like anywhere else there is overpriced vendors.Sounds to me your one of those that want everything for nothing so you can resell for 300% profit.If you feel stuck then move.

      Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 11:16 am
      • I completely agree with you Go Figure. I like the flea market. Lots off good vendors there. Some junk but that’s the great thing about flea markets.

        Wednesday, 21 June 2017, 9:31 pm
    • Where are you from? Although it’s a question, I really hope you decide to go back!

      Thursday, 22 June 2017, 8:45 pm
  • It’s amazing how ungrateful some people are if you don’t like the festival don’t go, but they’re thousands of people that agreed that that Festival was worth having because they show up year after year. The volunteer organizations received donations to help their growth and development yet the Blueberry Festival did not need to do that. if you want to know where all the money goes get involved in the organization and be part of the decision-making it’s easy to be an armchair quarterback and second-guess every decision

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:05 pm
  • Has anyone noticed a trend yet??? Golden Corrall restaurant, numerous businesses ( restaurants as well as offices, dog groomers, etc. ), the R.V.ers who frequented south brooksville for years, now blueberry festival. But you keep telling people how great b’ville is. IT’S A JOKE!!!!! No merci is right- it’s a rip off just like b’ville. No members of government wants to give government in the sunshine to we the people. I’m still waiting for the info on fourth of july fair/fireworks and what was all the money they collected used for !!!!!!! With any luck they’ll cancel fourth of july rip off too – you know it will be pyrotechnic companies fault according to b’ville.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 5:03 pm
    • 4th July at fairgrounds is a go!!

      Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:54 pm
      • Who can afford it and where is the money going?

        Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 1:35 pm
        • Idiots everywhere, you may not want to pay the fee but others may. The county’s budget is available on their web site of you would like to see how much money comes in. If you want to be part of the solution volunteer.

          Wednesday, 21 June 2017, 6:28 am
  • The venue won’t change how it run or set up. Like local blueberries, so have it when blueberries are in season to help the local economy. Who ever juried the art section of the show, need to do their research. Although there were many talented artists, there were many selling imported goods and passing them off as their own. And not to mentio. Those crafters selling products made from trade marked/licensed items with out a license for them to resell.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 5:02 pm
  • I say good. This did not benefit the county or city as a whole. Most, if not all vendors were out of state getting spots over county residents and taking the money with them. Then they had the nerve to ask the county for 40k to cover the security and road signage. Show me what needs to be done and how to go about it as a non profit, why can’t we take it over and make it a rule only local crops to be sold. js

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 4:47 pm
    • love your ideals. excatly we need something to help Brooksville not out siders

      Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:39 pm
  • good! what a total waste of time. can’t even find a parking place then having to PAY to get in – what a tourist trap ripoff.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 3:58 pm
  • Well it was a rip off anyway, maybe if they learn how they run the kumquat festival in Dade City and make it a bigger and more successful event.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 3:53 pm
  • Wow, what a truly sad loss for Brooksville.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 3:42 pm
  • I was told that none of the blueberries there were Florida product but all imported as none of ours were yet ripe. I have no idea if that is true but if so, very strange for a festival that is supposed to promote a local product.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 3:39 pm
    • It’s ALL the negro’s fault!!!
      They ruin everything!!

      Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:42 pm
      • Here goes another racist individual grow up already…..

        Monday, 19 June 2017, 10:20 pm
      • Are you kidding? How ignorant was THAT statement

        Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 9:51 am
      • Can I invite you over to hang at my house I’ll leave the back window open just come right in and wr will definitely be waiting on such a nice person such as yourself.

        Tuesday, 20 June 2017, 3:26 pm
    • At the time the festival was held this year, I was obtaining blueberries from he local farm I patronize, just south of County Line Rd. I think that’s local. I have heard the same information as you and don’t go to the festival. It doesn’t support local farms.

      Monday, 19 June 2017, 9:01 pm
      • I heard from growers here in Germans that all the berries came from one supplier outside of the county and the organizers in recent years even prevented growers from handing out flowers advertising “you pick”. I don’t go either because of that.

        Wednesday, 21 June 2017, 9:27 pm
  • You were contacted about this over a month ago about this Tom. Funny we were told the lease was a done deal and we were late to the party. Funny how when people start asking questions and want to know where the money trail go’s the whole project gets shut down…

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 3:39 pm
  • Great job there council!!!

    Bonner obviously knows more with that answer.

    Monday, 19 June 2017, 3:26 pm

      Monday, 19 June 2017, 6:39 pm

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