Skip to Content

Brooksville Blueberry Festival: April 23-24, 2022

Blueberry harvest shares stage with wildlife, natural wonders

As Florida’s strawberry harvest winds down, the packing houses turn their attention to home-grown blueberries.

And like the strawberry harvest, the berry growers of Central Florida hate to miss an opportunity for a party as the harvest celebrations shift from Plant City to nearby Brooksville, where the Brooksville Blueberry Festival occurs annually at the end of April.

The 1913 Hernando County Courthouse in Brooksville. (Photo by Bonnie Gross)
The oak-shaded 1913 Hernando County Courthouse in Brooksville is the center of the Brooksville Blueberry Festival.  (Photo by Bonnie Gross)

You may not think of Florida as blueberry country, but the state is now eighth in the nation in blueberry production. (Twenty years ago, there was no blueberry production, but University of Florida developed the ‘Southern Highbush’ varieties that requires very few hours of chill for growth.)

Brooksville is the center of 15 Florida counties that grow blueberries.

The Brooksville Blueberry Festival is the blue cousin to Plant City’s very large Florida Strawberry Festival, although much smaller.

The Brooksville Blueberry Festival is April 23-24, 2022, under the shade of the gnarly oak trees on the courthouse lawn in Brooksville’s downtown square.

The May-Stringer House in Brookesville is home to the Hernando Heritage Museum. (Photo by Bonnie Gross)
The May-Stringer House in Brooksville is home to the Hernando Heritage Museum as well as the Brooksville Blueberry Festival. (Photo by Bonnie Gross)

Events at Brooksville Blueberry Festival

The 2022 Brooksville Blueberry Festival will have a range of activities to appeal to all members of the family including many food concessaires. Other highlights include:

  • A “Craft Beer Experience” in conjunction with Marker 48 Brewing, a brewery based in nearby Weeki Wachee.
  • Free live music with a lineup including Wendy Rich, The Gaturze, Lost and Found, Borderline, Nuthin Fancy, Local Harmony, Trinity, Leesburg Blues Brothers and Peyton Monarch Band.
  • Blueberry Lane, where you’ll find everything blueberry, including blueberry pies, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry shortcake, blueberry jam , blueberry honey, blueberry plants as well as fresh picked blueberries. 
  • You can pick your own blueberries nearby at Upicktopia, 19125 Phillips Road, Masaryktown, 352- 308-0110.

Brooksville area’s natural beauty

Even without the blueberry, Brooksville/Hernando County is the center of one of Florida’s greatest unspoiled natural regions.

Nearby is the Withlacoochee State Forest, named by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the “10 Coolest Places in North America You’ve Never Seen.”

The forest is home to what many argue is Florida’s prettiest river for kayaking and canoes (the Withlacoochee River) AND what may be its best paved bike trail (the 46-mile Withlacoochee Bike Trail.)

Also nearby are great mountain bike trails, Weeki Wachee Springs with great kayaking on the spring-fed Weeki Wachee River.

Things to do near Brooksville

  • Website for Blueberry Festival
  • Paddle the Withlacoochee River
  • Bike the Withlacoochee Bike Trail, one of the best rail trails in the state.
  • Visit Weeki Wachee Springs for the mermaid show and/or to paddle the beautiful river.
  • Hike in the Withlacoochee State Forest. There are more than 100 miles of trails through these beautiful woods.
  • Visit the lovely, evocative Dade Battlefield Historic State Park.
  • Dine at the Florida Cracker Kitchen, 966 E. Jefferson St. in Brooksville. It is well worth a stop, even if all you get is the Smoked Mullet Dip. It’s open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday and serves outstanding dinners Friday and Saturday night. The menu is themed around Old Florida, from the Bokeelia Shrimp Omelette to the Apalachicola Po’ Boys (choice of oysters, shrimip, gator tail or fresh fish.) The 10,000 Island Shrimp and Grits is excellent, packed with flavor.

Places to stay near Brooksville

Hotels.com: Hotels in Brooksville

There are a few inexpensive mom-and-pop motels in Brooksville, but there are several modern moderate-priced hotels are at the I-75 intersection about five miles away.

Campsites are available in the Withlacoochee State Forest. The forest’s 131 campsites are available on a first-come, first-served bases. See posted information about camping fees. The rate is $20 per night from April through October for sites with electric hookups. Sites in Crooked River, with water only, are $15. Fees are collected on the honor system at the campground entrances.

  • Buttgenbach Mine Campground in the Croom Motorcycle Area: 51 sites with electricity, water, picnic tables and fire rings. Dump station in campground. Warning: It can get noisy here, especially on weekends, because of the motorcycles and off-road vehicles.
  • Silver Lake Campground in the Silver Lake Recreation Area: 23 sites with electric, water, picnic tables and fire ring. Dump station in campground.
  • Cypress Glen Campground in the Silver Lake Recreation Area: 34 campsites with electric, water, picnic table and fire ring. Also features kayak launch, nature trail and boardwalk.
  • Crooked River Campground in the Silver Lake Recreation Area: 26 primitive sites (tents only) with water, picnic table and fire ring. restrooms and showers.
  • For more information on Withlacoochee State Forest Camping, contact the Florida Forest Service office in Brooksville at 352-754-6896.

These campgrounds are in the forest, accessible only on dirt roads, and most are shaded well by the forest canopy. If it weren’t for the electric and water hookups, you would think they were primitive. Well worth camping here for an authentic Florida experience, especially if you are in a tent.

Odds and Ends

The Florida National Cemetery, the state’s newest resting ground for American soldiers, is located in nearby Bushnell. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs web site.

A note from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip.

This page may include affiliate links from which we may earn a modest commission if a purchase is made. More often, we include free courtesy links to small businesses, such as kayak outfitters, from whom we receive no compensation.

This article is the property of FloridaRambler.com and is protected by U.S. Copyright Law. Re-publication without written permission is against the law.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sandra M Jones

Monday 26th of July 2021

I'm interested in becoming a Vendor at your 2022 Blueberry Festival. Could you send me some information and a Application link. Thank you, Sandy Jones

Bonnie Gross

Monday 26th of July 2021

We write about festivals but we are not involved in any way in them. The website for the festival does not indicate when the next one will be held. https://brooksvilleblueberryfestival.com/

Ginny schmitt

Monday 24th of April 2017

I was at the festival sunday 5/23 I parked in parking lot where there was a printing store, I cant remember the name of it. I use a motor scooter, unable to walk, as we loeft to go home, we loaded it in the car and left. when we got home, we realized we had lost the key to it. if anyone can help me to find out the name of the printing store, to see if they fou8nd the key in the parking lot, please contact me at schmittspdy@aol.com\ thank you my name is Ginny

Bob Rountree

Monday 24th of April 2017

Ginny, I found three print shops in Brooksville on Google: First Line Printing, 3324 Mustang Dr, (352) 754-1925; Osmond Printing, 710 S Main St, (352) 848-0016; and Bobby Meadows Printing, 100 S Main St, Brooksville, (352) 593-4931. Also, I removed your phone number from your comment in case it falls into the wrong hands. Good luck, Bob Rountree, FloridaRambler.com

ROBERT HINES

Sunday 23rd of April 2017

Went to the Blueberry festival,yesterday. Long walk uphill from far away parking. Were out of xxl shirts at noon on the first day. No place to sit. Far too many people in one small area. Too many dogs on leashes. Dogs were in heat distress and so was I. No events , just a pants load of art fair type booths. BIG NO ON EVER RETURNING. VERY DISSAPPOINTED.

Anna Hines

Sunday 23rd of April 2017

Disappointed that is was all selling of wares. Should be advertised as a craft and art show. Drove 170 miles to attend.Limited blueberry items to honey,jam,wine and popcorn items.What happened to pie eating contest ? Or information about blueberries why are we celebrating them? What makes Florida blueberries to special? Nice touch at noon with the National Anthem but not all got the message to be respectful while it was played. Advertised online for 8$ for adult,it was 10$ with no discount for seniors.

Linda Walter

Saturday 22nd of April 2017

Went to the festival for the first time today. Well organized. Easy to park for $5. Entertainment was very good. Ate where the blueberry shortcake was sold. Food was awful. Server was prying buns apart with his bare hands. Hotdog was disgusting. Threw it out!! Other folks with other food were also disappointed. Shortcake was pretty good. Cake was dry, though. Next year we'll eat near the blueberry sales or at a restaurant. DON'T BUY THE HOTDOG!!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.