Resolve to have fun in 2017

Maybe 2017 is the year that you’re going to have more fun.

But, perhaps you want to improve planning your activities, and to get a better handle on your spending, too.

The Laker/Lutz News is here to help.

Whether you’re new to area, or have lived here for decades, this guide is intended to help you plan fun activities for you and your family, without breaking the bank.

Raising Cane, a sweet & spicy event
Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City
How much: Admission: $5 per person
Details: Cane syrup making, cane syrup competition, chili cook-off, salsa competition, greased pole climbing, iron skillet toss, entertainment and vendors

This blues band is keeping the crowd entertained at the Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues fest. (File Photos)

Seventh annual Pigs in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues
Jan 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 5200 Airport Road, at the new community venue
How much: Free admission; $10 parking
Details: Mouth-watering barbecue, blues music, classic car show, aircraft displays, World War II museum, beer and wine, gift vendors, business showcase, kids zone and more
For information, call (813) 782-1913, or visit


12th annual Suncoast Arts Fest
Jan. 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Jan. 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel
How much: Free admission and parking
Details: More than 125 fine artists and craftsmen; live entertainment; emerging artist booth, featuring work of area middle and high school students; street painting; roaming entertainers; and, free art projects for the kids

Dade City’s annual Kumquat Festival
Jan. 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Downtown Dade City
How much: Admission and parking are free; free shuttles for satellite lots
What: Local entertainment, antique cars, arts and crafts, activities for kids, vendors, health and wellness, kumquat pies, kumquat products, quilt challenge and more
Several events are held leading up to the festival, visit for information.

Farm Fest & Quilt Show
Feb. 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Feb. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Florida Pioneer Museum & Village,15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City
How much: $10 per day, or $15 for both days.
What: Draft horse pull on Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Bring your own lawn chair, limited seating); quilt show, activities, music and more
For information, visit

Florida Ranch Days
Feb. 11 and Feb. 12
Where: Little Everglades Ranch, 17951 Hamilton Road, Dade City
How much: Free admission; parking, $10 for cars and $25 for RVs
Details: Live entertainment on multiple stages; guided ranch tours on hay wagons; swamp buggy rides; trading post; food roundup; children’s area; and more
For information, visit

Third annual Snowbird Palooza
Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills
How much: Free parking and free admission
Details: Entertainment, speakers, coffee and donuts social, Bingo tent, live magician, art classes and more
For information, email .s.

Pasco County Fair
Feb. 20 to Feb. 26
Where: Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City
Details: Midway, fair food, entertainment, competitions
For a schedule of events, admission charge and other information, visit

Flea Market at the Old Lutz School
March 3 and March 4
Where: The Old Lutz School, 18819 U.S. 41 N.
How much: Admission is free.
Details: Thousands of items for sale to generate funds for causes supported by the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club.

Second annual Land O’ Lakes Music Fest
March 11, noon to 8 p.m.
Where: Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
How much: Early bird $10 general admission, $15 at the gate; Early bird $25 reserved seating, $30 at the gate; $5 parking.
Details: Live music, car show, bounce houses, obstacle course, video games, food and drink vendors, business and arts & crafts showcase. No outside food or coolers allowed. Event will be held, rain or shine.

Founders’ Day Parade in Zephyrhills
March 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Main Street Zephyrhills District
How much: Free admission
Details: A parade to celebrate Founders’ Day in Zephyrhills. This year’s theme is classic board games.
For information, visit

Savage Race
March 18 and March 19
Where: 17951 Hamilton Road, Dade City
Details: Twenty-five obstacles, mud in your underwear, chip timing, T-shirt, beer, action photos, camaraderie, memories
For information, visit

Dogs Day in Dade City
March 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Agnes Lamb Park, in downtown Dade City
Details: Dog wagon parade, dog costume contest, canine got talent, ice cream/yogurt eating contest and more

Zephyrhills Pie Festival
March 25, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 38116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills
How much: Free admission and parking; $10 all-you-can-eat pie buffet, from noon until 3 p.m.
Details: Pie bakers and vendors, slices of pie and whole pies for sale; pie-eating contests, a pie buffet, local business showcase, kids’ area, DJ entertainment and other activities

Gran Fondo Florida
March 26, start time 8 a.m.
Where: San Antonio
Details: Bicycle road race through the rolling hills of Dade City and San Antonio. Cyclists can choose to ride three distances: 30 miles, 60 miles or 100 miles, and are timed on certain stretches of the race.For information, visit

Jelly Bean Fling
April 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City
Details: Easter bunny, Easter bonnet parade, egg hunt, face painting, bounce house and more
For information, visit

Easter Sunrise Service
Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills
When: April 16, 6:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.
How much: Free admission
Details: Live Christian music, an inspirational message, a live dove release and free refreshments. Seating is limited and lawn chairs are encouraged.





Wesley Chapel Boat Show
April 21 to April 23
Where: The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel
For information, visit

Third Annual Zephyrhills SummerFest
Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills
When: June 24, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
How much: Free admission, free parking
Details: Live entertainment; bounce houses, slides, a rock wall, trampoline and other kids’ activities; vendor village of arts & crafters; pet friendly; fireworks at sunset
For information, contact .

Lutz Fourth of July
When: July 4, parade starts at 10 a.m. (There’s a race and other festivities before and after the parade). More details will be available closer to the event.
Where: Downtown Lutz, near the Train Depot
How much: Admission and parking are free.

29th annual Florida Bug Jam
Nov. 11 and Nov. 12
Where: Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City
For details, visit




Lutz Arts & Crafts Show
Dec. 2 and Dec. 3|
Where: Keystone Preparatory High School, 18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa
Details: Hundreds of arts and crafts vendors and food booths in an annual show that draws tens of thousands of shoppers

Christmas in the Park
Traditionally held on the first Sunday in December
Where: City Park, 12202 Main St., in downtown San Antonio
How much: Free admission, free refreshments
Details: Annual lighting of giant Christmas cards, old-fashioned carol singing and other nostalgic touches.

Tampa Tour de Clay
Dec. 9 and Dec. 10
Where: Stops at area pottery studios
How much: The tour is free.
Details: Those making the tour will have the chance to watch kiln openings, talk with nationally known ceramic artists and perhaps do a bit of shopping.
For details, visit

Church Street Christmas
Traditionally held on select dates in December
Where: Historic Church Avenue in Dade City
How much: Admission is free
Details: Enjoy carolers, musicians and other entertainers along a street where the sidewalks are lit by luminaries and the houses are brilliantly decorated.

Old Lutz School Christmas House
Traditionally held on select dates in December
Where: 18819 U.S. 41 N.
How much: Free admission; donations of toys and nonperishable foods are encouraged
For details, visit

Festival of Lights on Main Street
Traditionally held on the first Saturday in December
Where: On Fifth Avenue, from Seventh to 10th streets in downtown Zephyrhills
How much: Admission is free
Details: The event includes food, entertainment, holiday activities and a Christmas parade.

These events are beyond The Laker/Lutz News coverage area, but may be of interest to our readers.

Gasparilla Parade of Pirates
Jan. 28, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: The parade goes from Bay to Bay and Bayshore boulevards, and continues on a route through downtown Tampa, ending at Cass Street and Ashely Drive. (People begin gathering hours before the parade begins; parking can be difficult to find).
Details: The parade includes 130 units, including floats, marching bands, pirates and more.

Florida State Fair
Feb. 9 through Feb. 20
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N.
Details: Fair foods, midway, entertainment, competitions
For information, visit

Bay Area Renaissance Festival
Weekends, Feb. 18 through April 2
Where: 11315 N. 46th St., Tampa
How much: $17.95 adults, $9.95 children; free parking
Details: Step back to medieval times, with live jousting, and old time foods and shops.
For information, visit

Strawberry Festival
March 2 through March 12
Where: 303 N. Lemon St., Plant City
Details: Strawberry shortcake, entertainment, festival rides, contests, fair foods, competitions and more.
For information, visit

Chasco Fiesta
March 24 through April 1
Where: Downtown New Port Richey
Details: Chasco Fiesta is a nine-day festival with events ranging from a Native American Pow Wow, to a street parade, to a boat parade to shows, a carnival, a fiesta and more.
For information, visit

Florida Blueberry Festival
: April 22, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and April 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Historic downtown Brooksville
How much: $10 for adults (over 18); $5 for ages 13 to 17; free for those 12 and under; $5 in designated parking areas. The event is pet friendly.
Details: Entertainment, fresh blueberries, kids zone, arts and crafts, beer, wine, food and more
For information, visit

Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races
April 29, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Contachobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St., Tampa Bay
Details: Rowing teams compete
For information, visit, and click on “Events.”

Sept. 2, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: 3101 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport
Details: The theme of the 17th annual GeckoFest will be Geckostock, a celebration of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, as was hippies and the “Peace and Love” generation.

Published January 4, 2017

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