City’s history aglow

Gary Moe drives a horse-drawn wagon full of riders on East Orange Avenue to enjoy the Christmas lights and decorated homes during a past Floral City Heritage Days event.

Candles, carolers, cocoa and more will enchant the visitors of Floral City’s annual luminaria stroll from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, on the historic Avenue of the Oaks (Orange Avenue).

Attendees of Candles 'n Carols can experience the quintessential delights of the holiday season, taking in the sights of the mile-long lit path of century-old oak trees in old Floral City.

"It’s just a really nice old-town Florida event,” said Laura Hennings, co-chair of the Floral City Heritage Council.

“Every year the girls from Camp E-Nini-Hassee come, and they prepare the luminaries back at their camp and then they bring them here,” Hennings added. “We close off the road, and the girls put them out and light them.”

Floral City Heritage Days

Citrus County residents take a stroll Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, along Orange Avenue in Floral City, lined with luminaries for Candles 'N' Carols for Floral City Heritage Days. DAVE SIGLER/Chronicle

Members of the public are invited to take a free horse-drawn wagon ride or walk down the Avenue of the Oaks, and enjoy the merriment and glow of Christmastime.

Homeowners along the avenue will decorate their homes for the public to enjoy. Many will have carolers and music on their front porches.

“We have Christmas carolers, we have dulcimer players,” Hennings said. “The houses will be all decked out.”

“We’re going to have some gospel singing out by the (Floral City Heritage) Museum Friday night, as well as pianist playing,” Hennings said.

Cocoa and other seasonal treats will be available for purchase. The night also features an all-you-can-eat fish fry hosted by the Floral City Lions Club.

It’s recommended to bring a flashlight to enhance visibility, as the event is dimly lit.

Parking will be available at the Town Center parking lot behind the Floral City Heritage Museum and Floral City Public Library.

Heritage Days

On Saturday, take in an abundance of history and eat some traditional barbecue during the annual folk life and living history portion of Floral City Heritage Days.

The pioneer days of Citrus County will come to life from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7, in downtown Floral City. Visitors can explore all of Floral City while learning about its rich history and unique past.

The event features early Florida daily living exhibits and demonstrations, folk music, reenactments at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and vendors selling old-time items for purchase. Attendees are invited to see Floral City’s most iconic homes on the Blue Banner Tour of Historic Homes (tickets available for $10).

Floral City Heritage Days 2019

Floral City Heritage Council is hosting Floral City Heritage Days at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 held in the Floral City town center.

“This year, which is very exciting, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and the Floral City Community Cemetery, both listed on the Florida Black Heritage Trail, will be open,” Hennings said. “Mount Carmel Methodist Church will also be on tour.”

The public can gain entrance into Pleasant Hill, the cemetery and Mount Carmel for free.

“The Duval house will be open again for tour,” Hennings said.

The Friends of the Floral City Library will host a book sale on the Town Center, and the Floral City Heritage Museum and Country Store will be open.

Festival goers can devour a variety of Southern fare including barbecue sandwiches, chicken, sweet potato pies, brownies, cookies, kettle corn and more provided by Mount Carmel Methodist Church and the 4-H Club.

There is no admission charge. Visitors are encouraged to park on the Ferris Groves field.

“We have a hay ride on a tractor that will bring people from that parking lot to downtown Floral City,” Hennings said.

For information, visit www.floralcityhc.org

Contact Chronicle Community Editor Gwen Bittner at 352-563-3224 or gwen.bittner@chronicleonline.com.

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