By Kathy Collins

The Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin has become a hub in south Hillsborough County for arts related activities including education, entertainment and more. Many of the programs offered are fee based or free.

In an effort to help fund student scholarships, the Firehouse Cultural Center is hosting its 2nd Annual Blues and BBQ: A Smokin’ Event on Saturday, October 17 from 2-7 p.m. Cost to attend is $25. Attendees will get delicious chicken and rib combo platters, courtesy of The Dog House and More and The Pig Pit BBQ, with your choice of two sides, tea, water and dessert.

In addition to the BBQ, there will be live music all day. Rick Hatfield will delight one and all with his ability to make people laugh and dance at the same time. Hapi McKenzie and Patty Pfitser of the Crabgrass Cowboys will bring sounds of blues, country-swing and bluegrass which will get everyone in to the rockabilly swinging mood.

Georgia Vahue, executive director of the Firehouse Cultural Center said, “2015 has been and continues to be a year of significant growth with the Firehouse Cultural Center providing exceptional programming in the arts and education for all ages and diversities.”

The Firehouse Cultural Center offers something for everyone. The Center’s lively Firehouse Pub and Theatre brings a variety of music, comedy and theatre. The Firehouse Cultural Center also offers an endless array of classes for all ages. These include arts and technology, robotics, performing arts, summer camps and visiting artists.

Some events, such as the upcoming 2nd Annual Celebrating South Hillsborough History are free. This event will be held on Saturday, October 24 from 2-4 p.m. Vahue said, “Celebrating South Shore History offers lifelong and new residents an opportunity to learn about the unique South Shore History through authentic storytelling by sharing personal connections to the region. Guest speakers, historical displays and artifacts will take audiences on an historical journey which may compel those new to the area to learn more about what the historical South Shore region encompasses.”

The Firehouse Cultural Center is located at 101 1st Ave. NE in Ruskin. For a complete listing of all of the events and to get tickets, visit www.firehouseculturalcenter.org or call 645-7651.