Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brooksville, Florida

We returned home last Wednesday, and by Saturday we were looking for something to do.  On our way home through Florida we saw a billboard along the way advertising the Blueberry Festival in Brooksville.  It was only about 60 miles from our home, seemed like a good thing to do for the weekend.  As we arrived near the town we soon got caught up in traffic jams and blocked off streets.  We parked at the nearest available lot, not knowing how far away the festival was or the distance we had to walk to get to it.  As we hiked through the town we came to a small park with a cross above the picnic shelter.  The first thing we saw was a statue of the Ten Commandments.
This park is called Brooksville Commons, established in 2013.  Something else which caught our eyes as we entered the park was a large mural titled Brooksfield Raid.  You can see it on the wall of a building behind the sculpture.  I researched this battle later and learned that Federal Troops skirmished with Confederates in this town in 1864.  They fired at each other at long range, one Union soldier was wounded and 7 Confederates captured.  The Union Army were mainly interested in foraging and in getting to Bayport on the coast, before returning to their post at Fort Meyers.  
The commons also has prayer corner as well as a sculpture of the Tree of Life and Living Water ( "if any man is thirsty let him come to me and drink"John 7:37 )   The leaves on it are metal and water flows down its sides.
There were long lines to the ticket booth for the festival, you can see them behind the tree sculpture. 
Shortly after entering the festival we saw a small ice skating rink.  Everyone on it were using walkers to aid them in skating.  Of course, how many people in Florida would know how to ice skate?? 
As we were looking at the living statue pictured above, and I was standing with camera in hand, the seated lady suddenly moved. She extended an arm and pointed to the sign which indicated that I owed $4.00 for the shot.  Yes, I did pay.  The little girl is a real statue.  Their names are Barbara and Ina.
We were soon ready for lunch and could only find a couple of food carts which offered the usual fare of hot dogs and hamburgers.  We later found out that there was a wider selection of food in another section of the festival.   But I did find something which was not meat or fried in a lot of fat- a gran arepa, pictured above.  It is two slabs of corn cakes with melted  mozzarella  between them.  The man selling them said he had an employee from Columbia, South America who made them.  A bit greasy, but good. 
After lunch we felt ready to leave the festival.  It was a bit warm, the crowds and lines over-whelming. There was no place for us to sit and eat our lunch.  Most of the available seating were either at a wine bar or beer garden.  Guess we should have sat and listened to some live music, but we were ready to leave.  We did celebrate all things blueberry- ate a blueberry shortcake, bought fresh blueberries as well as a blueberry pie.

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