Snakes, scorpions and tortoises, oh my

Whether it was to learn about snakes, check out a Wild West Show, do a bit of arts and crafts, shopping or listening to music — visitors to the 52nd annual Rattlesnake Festival had plenty of choices. A crowd, estimated at over 9,000, visited the two-day show with near-perfect weather this past weekend at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. The lineup for the festival, which moved this … [Read more...]

Pasco County Fairgrounds gears up for Rattlesnake Festival

The Rattlesnake Festival, a community tradition for more than a half-century, has moved to a new locale — the Pasco County Fairgrounds. The move from San Antonio City Park — its venue for 51 years — comes as the event’s host, The Thomas Promise Foundation, decided it was time for a roomier setting. While shifting to the fairgrounds, many of the event’s traditions will continue. For instance, … [Read more...]

The Laker/Lutz News wins ‘Best of Show’

The Laker/Lutz News received Best of Show distinction at the 2017 Awards for Excellence competition sponsored by Community Papers of Florida trade association. This top award was presented to Publisher Diane Kortus at the group’s annual meeting held Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 at Hutchinson Island. The Best of Show was awarded for a full-page ad, “Fun on 41 – Discover the Wonders,” that uses a … [Read more...]

‘Ranch Days’ debuts this weekend

Little Everglades Ranch is rolling out the welcome mat this weekend for a new event called “Ranch Days.” Slated for Feb. 11, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Feb. 12, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the event features live music, tethered hot air balloon rides, hiking tours, tram tours, a balloon glow and exhibitions, including high-wiring walking, indigenous snakes and birds of prey. “The property … [Read more...]

Celebrating San Antonio’s small-town charms

When you’re young and restless, Betty Burke says, San Antonio is the sort of town you leave. It’s small. It’s sleepy. It’s a long way from anywhere. It scarcely helps that its mascot is the Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake, the deadliest serpent in North America. More about that in a moment. So you go. To college. To a fast-paced career. To bright lights and busy streets. To places that, … [Read more...]

Now serving chicken pilau, with a side of nostalgia

Fifty-six-year-old Richard Christmas cannot recall a time in his life without chicken pilau. The dish, which has been served for decades at events in San Antonio and Dade City, features chunks of chicken and white rice, which have been seasoned with garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Although the name of the dish is spelled p-i-l-a-u, it’s pronounced per-loo, which rhymes with … [Read more...]

Special events eligible for tourism grants

Every year, thousands of tourists flock to festivals in Pasco County, spending money and getting to know the county’s best features. They dine on kumquats, browse through arts and crafts booths, immerse themselves in Native American culture, listen to old-time music, and learn about the environment. But, putting on those special events takes cash. Each year the Pasco County Office of … [Read more...]