Villages official says performance groups kept in dark about changes at Entertainment Department

A member of the Amenity Authority Committee said Wednesday the performance groups in The Villages are being kept in the dark about changes coming to the Entertainment Department.

Groups like the cheerleaders, twirlers and clowns have indicated that they have not been given a schedule of events planned for 2019 at the three town squares. Typically, that information would have been in their hands by this time of year.

Gerry Lynch, center, leads the Villages Cheerleaders through their routine in 2016 at Mardi Gras at Lake Sumter Landing.

AAC member Don Deakin said he has been hearing concerns from these lifestyle groups who have become fixtures in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

The 2019 online events listing for The Villages Entertainment is pretty sparse. Noticeably absent is Colonial Days, a fixture during the month of January since 2013 at Brownwood Paddock Square. The future of festival events at the squares appears to be uncertain at best.

Barb Roberts and Jan Watkins of the Villages Basket Weavers were in the colonial spirit in 2014 at Colonial Days at Brownwood Paddock Square.

In 2012, the Entertainment Department took tremendous heat after doing away with parades that had taken place in both Spanish Springs Town Square and at Lake Sumter Landing. Ultimately, the Italian, Irish and German clubs banded together as the Resident Parade Committee and now the all-volunteer group stages two parades per year, a St. Patrick’s Day Parade and a Heritage Parade in October, at Spanish Springs.