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Parades ashore and afloat on Saturday

Those are only two of numerous activities this weekend with holiday themes, sights and sounds.

Published December 9, 2005

The Inverness Christmas parade will be the highlight of a weekend filled with holiday activities.

The parade begins at noon Saturday and heads south along Main Street from Citrus High School to Highland Boulevard. This year's parade will include about 75 entries, including the crowd-thrilling Shriners motorized and marching units from Tampa.

Local entertainment will be provided by the Citrus County Mass Band, which is composed of musicians from each of the county's three public high schools. The Inverness Middle School Marching Band also is scheduled to march.

The parade grand marshal is Inverness resident and Citrus County school board attorney Richard S. "Spike" Fitzpatrick.

In other weekend holiday events:

HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in downtown Inverness. The festival is held in conjunction with the Inverness Christmas Parade, which begins at noon. Lots of holiday crafts available for purchase. Children can receive a free photo with Santa in front of the Old Courthouse courtesy of Walgreen from 2 to 3 p.m. For additional information contact the Inverness Department of Parks and Recreation at 726-3913 or e-mail

AN AIRBOAT PARADE begins at dusk Saturday on the Hernando Pool of the Tsala Apopka Lake. Decorated boats will begin lining up at the Hernando boat ramp at 4:30 p.m. and then cruise the shoreline. Entry fee is a new unwrapped toy for donation to the Citrus United Basket. Parade ends at Armante's Restaurant. Sponsored by the Citrus County Airboat Alliance.

CITRUS COMMUNITY CONCERT CHOIR will perform Handel's Messiah at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Playhouse 19, 865 U.S. 19, Crystal River; at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Faith Lutheran Church 935 S. Crystal Glen Drive, Lecanto; and at 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church 1070 U.S. 19 N, Crystal River. General admission is $6. Children 12 and under admitted free. For additional information, please call 352-212-1746 or 352-628-6452. The 40-member choir is directed by Jacki Doxey Hull.

THE SUNDAY IN THE HILLS concert at the Beverly Hills Recreation Association, 77 Civic Circle, Beverly Hills, features Carol Kline. Her 90-minute Christmas Cabaret show will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 and includes coffee and cake.

THE SUGARMILL CHORALE Holiday Concert will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Curtis Peterson Auditorium in Lecanto. Tickets are $7; available from all chorale members or by calling 382-4555; seats also may be available at the auditorium box office one hour before the start of the concert. Under the baton of its new director, Debi Allen, with Martin Bachthaler as accompanist, the 50-voice chorus will present a program of favorite music of the holiday season, both sacred and secular. Included are such favorites as We Need A Little Christmas from Mame; a medley of Irving Berlin's Happy Holiday and White Christmas; and Birthday of A King.

THE CITRUS SPRINGS CHORUS presents its third annual Holiday Concert at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Citrus Springs Community Center, 1570 Citrus Springs Blvd. The concert selections include solos by Joe Kelble, Joan Bucher, Helen Harrison and Bob Chandler, as well as duets by Juanita Bowden and Nancy Gordon. A sing-along and refreshments will follow. Free admission.

SANTA OVER THE RAINBOW will be today through Sunday at Rainbow Springs State Park, on U.S. 41 north of Dunnellon. Musical entertainment visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus each night. George "Kelly" Koper, a park volunteer and professional musician, plays all Christmas selections from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Saturday the Gulf Coast Community Handbell Choir takes center stage from 6:30 to 8:30. This group is made up of experienced ringers from the Crystal River, Inglis-Yankeetown, Homosassa and Dunnellon areas. On Sunday, Dunnellon's own Shade Tree Pickers return with their special down-home Christmas magic.

Admission to the park is $1 and all proceeds are used by the Friends of Rainbow Springs for educational and beautification purposes. Rainbow Springs State Park is 4 miles north of Dunnellon on U.S. 41. Call (352) 465-8555 for additional information.

Jorge Sanchez covers arts and entertainment in Citrus County. Call 860-7313 or e-mail

[Last modified December 9, 2005, 13:53:28]

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