This annual Pasco County Fair parade will take on a few new twists and turns this year in downtown Dade City.
The parade, set for Feb. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will travel an alternate route, due to ongoing road closures and construction associated with the city’s downtown stormwater improvement project.
According to a news release from the Pasco County Fair Association, the alternate route will begin at Rodney B. Cox Elementary School on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard and turn south on Seventh Street until Meridian Avenue. The parade will then turn east on Meridian Avenue and continue until Third Street, ending on Live Oak Avenue.
In prior years, the parade has traveled along Seventh Street from Meridian to Florida Avenue. The event represents a kickoff to the weeklong 73rd annual Pasco County Fair, which runs from Feb. 17 through Feb. 23.
Pasco County Fair chairman and board member Tracy Thompson commended the City of Dade City for accommodating the new route, in the release.
Thompson said: “Unforeseen road construction almost disrupted the parade. But, the city has worked with us to establish an alternate route. We are thankful to them. Otherwise there would be a lot of disappointed children and adults.”
This year’s parade grand marshal is Grammy Award-winning country music star Billy Dean, who also will present an acoustical concert that evening at 7 p.m., at the Clayton Way Stage, with former American Idol contestant Chloe Channell.
Dean has released 11 albums, and has been recognized with several awards and nominations during the course of his 25-plus year music career. The Quincy native also has performed and toured with some of the country music industry’s biggest stars, including The Judds, Kenny Rogers, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Wynonna Judd and others.
In addition to Dean, the parade will feature many colorful floats, and horse and buggies, and school marching bands, a tradition that dates back some 70-plus years.
Entry in the parade is free, with a Feb. 7 entry deadline. The lineup will be based on those entries, but others will be accepted until 5 p.m., Feb. 12.
Information and applications for the parade are available online at PascoCountyFair.com, or by calling the Fair office at (352) 567-6678. The fair will open at 2 pm. on Feb. 17, at the fairgrounds on State Road 52 in Dade City, and continue through Feb. 23.
Published February 05, 2020