brooksville blueberry festival 2023

Celebrate Everything Blueberry and Colt Ford at the Brooksville Blueberry Festival

By Diane Bedard Posted on April 12, 2023

This year, on April 29 and 30, Brooksville celebrates everything blueberry and everything Brooksville to bring you the 2023 Brooksville Blueberry Festival sponsored by the Luke 1248 Foundation- with music headliner, Colt Ford on Saturday night.

“Colt Ford is about God, family, friends, and America. I’m just a guy who loves life. I love people. I love knowing I could make a difference in somebody else’s life with a song. I hope you walk away with a smile on your face. I poured my heart and soul into this one. This ain’t a hobby. It’s life. The fans are the reason I’m here. I’m going to keep doing it for them. I feel like the luckiest man on planet earth, so I’m not stopping,” he laughs.

Colt’s current tour includes a FREE concert sponsored by Builders First Source at the Brooksville Blueberry Festival at 8 pm on April 29, 2023!

But there is much more to this annual celebration of blueberries and local agriculture, so read on…

Brooksville Blueberry Festival provides Blueberry Food, Drink, Fun, Shopping and Live Music for Free

brooksville blueberry festival
Blueberry shortcake is a main attraction, along with blueberry lemonade, blueberry pies and much more.

Live concerts, more than 300 vendors, an endless supply of blueberry-infused yumminess, and a dedicated Kids Zone will keep visitors celebrating through Brooksville’s beautiful tree line streets. 

“There really is something for everyone,” said Natalie Kahler, Brooksville Main Street’s Executive Director. “Everything blueberry is on Blueberry Lane. Blueberry pies, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry shortcake, blueberry jam, blueberry honey, blueberry plants, fresh-picked blueberries and much more!”

Art is always part of the shopping experience, where you can enjoy a wide variety of paintings, sculptures and photos displayed and offered for sale by artists from near and far, as well as fine crafts, fun festival vendor shopping, and even a hospitality area featuring massages and blueberry wine – and a craft beer zone!

A quiet room tent for nursing children and sensory zone for those who may get overwhelmed by crowds and high activity, preferring a quieter experience, are part of this wonderful community event.

Lots of Kids Activities and Mr. and Miss Blueberry Pageants

The Kids Zone features plenty of hands-on activities for the kiddos. Nonprofits from throughout Hernando County will offer kids activities at different locations throughout the festival.

Speaking of children, does your child want to be the next Miss Blueberry Princess or Mister Blueberry Prince? A pageant will be held on Saturday for noon – 4 pm for boys and girls ages 5-16, so click here for more information on how to participate. There is a $25 entry fee per child for the Mister and Miss Blueberry pageants.

Who Makes the BEST Blueberry Pie? Find Out on Saturday

Do you have the best blueberry pie recipe? Enter the on-site contest on Saturday, April 29 at 11 AM. Stay tuned to learn about the celebrity judges who will be trying each pie! Register here to have your blueberry pie included in the contest. Additionally, there will be a blueberry pie eating contest.

Free Live Concerts throughout the Festival – featuring Colt Ford Saturday Night

Continuous music will be played throughout the festival, emanating through historic downtown Brooksville. Enjoy country, rock, blues and more in the Lowman Bandshell inside Hernando Park. The acts are the best of local, regional, and even national acts and the music starts at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

Chairs are allowed this year, but they may not be left in the park and there will be plenty of space to gather and celebrate with your friends and neighbors. Please note that there will be security at this year’s event, with bags and purses being checked for weapons, as well as no coolers allowed in the venue. Unattended items in the park will be removed.

Colt Ford will headline Saturday’s lineup and Sunday’s headliners are the Leesburg Blues Brothers Tribute. Here is the weekend entertainment schedule (which is subject to change):

Saturday, April 29th, 2023

  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Conner Dirksen
  • 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Emmet Stevens Jr.
  • 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Crossfire Creek
  • 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM: Soul Circus Cowboys
  • 8:00 PM: Colt Ford

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Kenne Grube
  • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Draw 4
  • 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Southbound 75
  • 5:00 PM: Leesburg Blues Brothers Tribute Band

Best of all, the Peyton Monarch Band returns to provide intermission entertainment for this year’s festival.

Visit the Craft Beer Garden on South Brooksville Avenue to try several craft beers, including blueberry beer by Marker 48, before heading to the concert band shell.

Street performers, including stilt performers and The Cowboy Circus world’s smallest rodeo will be infused throughout the festival to add to the fun-filled atmosphere.

The Community Showcase will be located south of Broad Street north to Brooksville Avenue. It will incorporate some of our Downtown Business along with many unique local businesses as well as our Community Stage on Main Street, just south of Broad Street, featuring some of Brooksville’s finest talents.

marker 48 blueberry cream beer

How the Brooksville Blueberry Festival Began

The Brooksville Blueberry Festival was born in 2018 when Coney Island Drive Inn owner, John Lee, volunteered his expertise to bring a large, free festival to downtown Brooksville.

John united many local nonprofits, local businesses, community members, and the benefits were measurably large. Brooksville then designated John Lee “The Blueberry King”, and you can still see his award displayed at the restaurant.

After a hiatus from the pandemic, the festival returned in 2022, bigger and better than ever before! Over 300 vendors served over 40,000 attendees in the two-day festival. Brooksville Main Street came alongside John that year to learn from him and coordinate volunteer efforts, and the festival generated over $50,000 for nonprofits that serve Hernando County.

Come out and Celebrate Everything Blueberry in Brooksville April 29-30

As you walk through the Brooksville Blueberry Festival, the pies, jams, and smoothies get everyone’s taste buds worked up for the blueberry short cake. Shop at hundreds of vendors offering unusual crafts, technological and agricultural gadgets, fresh-picked blueberries, bakes blueberry treats, and live blueberry plants.

Free parking is available on the streets and in several downtown parking lots including the Hernando County Health Department, the Vinelife Church, the First Baptist Church, and Miss Kitty’s. There will be paid parking to benefit local nonprofits in some lots. Look for the Blueberry Festival shuttle throughout the festival to help get around. Parking can be a challenge with over 40,000 visitors, so we recommend carpooling and getting here early!

Admission is free for all and so is the entertainment.

A portion of the proceeds from The Brooksville Blueberry Festival go to help the area community, which makes it an even better reason to get out and get BLUE. For more information about this year’s Brooksville Blueberry Festival, please contact Brooksville Main Street at



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