Breaking News

Good Times: Crafts, bird watching, more | Things to Do

NEW THIS WEEK

Craft Council announces Spring Fling show

The Citrus County Craft Council announces its Spring Fling Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Florida National Guard Armory in Crystal River.

Get more from the Citrus County Chronicle

There will be a large assortment of local vendors selling their handmade goods. The prizes that will be raffled off at the event will benefit the Nature Coast Ministries.

The Young Marines will have hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soda for sale. Admission into this event is free.

Lecture Series: “Fishing Gear and a Problem for Pelicans”

The next meeting of the Nature Coast Lecture Series held by the Friends of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Inc. will be held at 6 p.m. on April 12 via Zoom.

This meeting will feature Ann Paul, president of the Florida Ornithological Society, who will be giving a lecture titled “Fishing Gear and a Problem for Pelicans.” It will cover topics surrounding the effect that fishing gear entanglement has on Brown Pelican populations and what can be done to fix these issues.

The link to the Zoom meeting is: zoom.us/j/3935807027?pwd=eFRzYXdxdFhORDBaSlV4eDhxSWI3dz09

The meeting ID is 393 580 7027 and the passcode is 342957.

Museum to host Kids’ Scavenger Hunt

Attend the free Kids’ Scavenger Hunt in the Museum at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. April 16 at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, 1 Courthouse Square in Inverness.

Each team who embarks on a quest will need a tablet or iPhone. Teams who finish and win will receive a trophy.

While this is a free event, teams must pre-register by April 13. To register, call 352-341-6428.

Attend an Easter egg hunt, spring festival

On April 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a Spring Festival and Egg Hunt event at the Hernando Church of the Nazarene, 2101 N. Florida Ave., Hernando.

There will be free food, games, prizes, face painting and an Easter egg hunt. Come out and celebrate Easter with the community.

Birdwatch at Fort Cooper State Park

Birdwatch with the Trekking on Thursdays group at 9 a.m. April 7 and May 5 at Fort Cooper State Park, 3100 S. Old Floral City Road in Inverness.

The walk is led by naturalist Dee Bolton. Attendees will try their hand at identifying bird species and calls. Birders often bring a notebook to record their sightings or add to their Life List.

The park surroundings are old Florida at its finest and the trek along the trails are easy-going. Some trails are paved.

Bring a pair of binoculars (extras available), closed-toed shoes and a bit of patience, as spring birds can be elusive. Entrance to the park is $3 per vehicle (up to eight people), payable at the honor box located at the ranger station or back gate. Exact cash only.

For more information, call 352-726-0315 or email [email protected]

Attend a bird walk in Homosassa

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Citrus County Audubon will host a bird walk at 8 a.m. April 23 at the park’s 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. A birder from Citrus County Audubon will lead the walk. The trail is one of 19 birding trails in Citrus County that are part of the west section of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Pepper Creek Trail is fully accessible.

Pepper Creek Trail is approximately 3/4 mile and follows along the park’s tram road, connecting the visitor center on U.S. 19 and the West entrance on Fish Bowl Drive.

If you have binoculars and a field guide, bring them, but they are not required. There is no charge to participate in the bird walk.

For more information, visit citruscountyaudubon.org.

COMING UP, ONGOING

Earth Day show at Rainbow Springs Art

Rainbow Springs Art in Dunnellon gallery is hosting an Earth Day art show April 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the gallery, 20804 W. Pennsylvania Ave.

Artists will display works with that celebrate the earth and conservation, such as landscapes and water scenes.

Nonmember artists are invited to participate. Table booth space is $20.

The gallery will donate the artist fees and part of the money it earns to the Rainbow River Conservation Group, whose mission is to protect and preserve the river and its flood plains.

There will be a raffle to benefit the gallery’s art scholarship, which is awarded to area graduating high school students interested in pursuing the creative arts in college.

For information about the Earth Day art show, call the gallery at (352) 445-8547 or visit it Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You also can visit its website: www.rainbowspringsart.com.

Citrus County band at the depot

Taking the stage for a mix of blues, jazz and good music will be BoeCat Anderson and the Cool Corporate Cats at the Dunnellon Depot on April 1. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the performance being from 7-9 p.m. The Depot is located at 12061 S. Williams St., north of the Withlacoochee River bridge.

The 30-year Citrus County based band are talented musicians made up of educators, CEO’s and professional musicians.

A $5 cover fee is requested. The Whistle Stop Café will be offering a menu of fried green tomatoes, Cubans, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie wraps and desserts. BYOB is allowed for drinks. Food is served until 8 p.m. while supplies last.

Proceeds from this event help the Greater Dunnellon Historical Society maintain the building and make plans to restore the caboose.

Show at the Valerie Theater

The Valerie Theater will be hosting a live performance by Jo Jo Jones and Jay Jernigan from 7-9 p.m. on April 1 and 2.

Tickets are $12-$15 and available for purchase beforehand at: tix.com/ticket-sales/valerietheatre/5008.

There will be beer and wine available at the event. The theater is located at 207 Courthouse Square, Inverness.

Visit exhibit at the Courthouse Museum

The newest rotating exhibit at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum in Inverness features the return of ArtOasis, a talented group of local artists who use poetry and literature to inspire their work.

Opening to the public on April 2 through May 28 is the rotating exhibit “Of Poems and Pieces: Haiku Art to Open Your Heart.” It will showcase a variety of artistic mediums inspired by the simple yet beautiful Japanese poetry form, haiku.

Meet the artists themselves at a special opening reception to be held on April 2 from 4-7 p.m. at the museum. The reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

ArtOasis and the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum will also host a special family activity for the museum’s new “Kids Corner and Crafternoons” program on May 7 from 1-3 p.m. These amazing local artists will lead children in a poetry-writing activity and then create paper lilies. Pre-register for this free program online at cccourthouse.org or by calling 352-341-6428.

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 cccourthouse.org.

IR-RU annual fundraiser for Crest

The IR-RU Family Social Club will be having their seventh annual Benefit for Autism Awareness on April 3.

There will be local bands donating their time and talent for this event.

The schedule is: 1 p.m. Silverback Rock and Roll; 2 p.m. Jo Jo and the Jenerators; 3 p.m. Bootlegger; 4 p.m. Bad Luck Penny; 5 p.m. Soggy Bottom; and 6 p.m. Bad Kitty.

The sound and lighting will be done by Steve Champagne/Shining Star Productions. All proceeds from this event will be for CREST School in Lecanto.

Food plates will be available for $5. Raffles will be held throughout the afternoon, including a 50/50 and a 65″ Samsung TV. The TV raffle will be at 7 p.m.

The IR-RU Family Social Club is a 501(c)4 organization located at 922 S. US 41, Inverness. This charitable event is open to the public. For more information, call 352-637-5118.

Bike the Loop Day free event

Cyclists of all levels can enjoy exploring the Seven Mile Loop Trail during Bike the Loop Day at the Crystal River Preserve State Park on April 9. Riders may start their rides at any time during the day, but all services will end at 2 p.m.

This free event starts at the park headquarters where parking, restrooms and water are available. Participants are encouraged to bring their own water and snacks. Cyclists will pedal a mile on pavement before arriving at the trailhead. The total distance will be 9.25 miles. Most riders will take about two hours to bike the loop.

The only restroom is at the start and finish point at the park headquarters, 3266 N. Sailboat Ave., Crystal River.

Gravel bikes, beach cruisers, and mountain bikes are all perfect for this ride. Helmets are strongly recommended and required by law for all riders younger than 16.

Donations to the Friends of the Crystal River State Parks will be appreciated, but no registration or fee is required.

Attend the 22nd annual Big Bird R/C Fly-In

The 22nd annual Big Bird R/C Fly-In, sponsored by the Tri-County R/C Club sanctioned by the Academy of Model Aeronautics, will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on April 9 at Rainbow R/C Park, 12175 S. Bridges Rd., Dunnellon. The field is east of Dunnellon on County Road 484 to Bridges Rd., then just follow the signs.

Pilot registration opens at 8 a.m. with a pilot meeting at 8:30 a.m. Rainbow Cafe will be open with hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks available.

There will be a landing fee of $5. Electric, nitro and gas engines are welcome with a minimum 60 inch wingspan. No fueled turbines. A current 2022 AMA card is required. Spectators are welcome.

This is an outdoor event. However, due to COVID-19, social distancing and adherence to CDC guidelines is recommended.

For more information, contact Bruce Richardson, contest director, at [email protected] or call 352-425-9976.

Wildlife park plans Egg-stravaganza on April 16

The Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park will be hosting a Spring EGG-stravaganza starting at 8 a.m. on April 16 in the field behind the main entrance and Visitor Center of Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.

Hundreds of eggs will be available for children to find. Each age group will have gold and silver eggs, awarding the finder a special prize. Arrive early and visit with the Easter Bunny, bring a basket and create lasting memories.

There is no charge to participate in the Spring EGG-stravaganza. Regular park admission applies for entrance into the Wildlife Park.

For more information, call the park office at 352-628-5343. For more information on activities in Florida’s State Parks, visit floridastateparks.org.

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 citruschoir.com.

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 www.1umc.org.

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% of the club are women. For partners who wish to join, the second membership is $5.

For more information, visit naturecoastcarvingclub.com.

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]

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 cccourthouse.org.

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 cccourthouse.org.

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 http://bit.ly/2022citrus.

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.

Craig Singleton and the Big City Band will take the stage April 21.

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

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 apm.activecommunities.com/citruscountyparks 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.