The annual Pasco County Fair has delivered a family fun-filled time to fairgoers for more than seven decades, and it promises to do the same this year.
The event’s 72nd year is set for Feb. 18 through Feb. 24, at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52 in Dade City.
“The Fair Association has been busy putting together what we feel like is the best fair that’s about to hit these grounds,” Tracy Thompson, the annual fair chairman and director, said, during a recent Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce business breakfast meeting.
The fair is expected to draw as many as 50,000 patrons this year.
Since the very beginning, the fair’s primary purpose has been to promote youth in agriculture, as they show their steers, hogs, plants and more.
Thompson noted the fair is particularly important to the community, as it teaches local kids responsibility, money management and other valuable lessons.
“It’s just a great, all-around experience for life,” Thompson said.
Aside from that, the fair offers plenty in the way of entertainment through one-of-a-kind shows and musical performances.
One highlight figures to be Stevie Starr, “The Professional Regurgitator,” known for appearances on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
In his act, Starr, who’s from England, swallows coins, light bulbs, balloons, nails, billiard balls, dry sugar, lighter fluid and goldfish, and other items — and then, he regurgitates them.
The Pasco Fair will mark Starr’s first appearance at any county or state fair, and he will perform throughout the week, Thompson said.
“We’ve got some top-notch entertainment here…and (Starr’s) one that we’re really tickled over,” Thompson said.
The fair also features another “America’s Got Talent” participant in the Fearless Flores Family, a stunt motorbike family from South Florida that features five generations of family performers. The daredevil family, also making their first Pasco Fair appearance, will perform what’s known as the “Globe of Death.”
That stunt involves racing their motorcycles up, down and around a specially-built metal globe made of steel.
Meanwhile, the fair’s bluegrass and gospel nights are returning by popular demand.
The bluegrass show is headlined by Little Roy and Lizzie. They are scheduled to perform on Feb. 20 at 6 p.m., in the Dan Cannon Auditorium.
The gospel show is headlined by Jeff and Sheri Easter and The Down East Boys. That show will begin on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m., also in the Dan Cannon Auditorium.
Other staples of the fair are back, too, including the Miss Heart of Pasco County Pageant and baby pageant, rodeo, karaoke, midway rides and games, and more.
A brand-new twist is a kid’s karaoke contest, open to ages 8 to 17.
Cash prizes will be offered to the top three finishers in each group (8 to 12 years old; 13 to 17 years old). The kid’s karaoke will take place on Feb. 24 at 2 p.m., at the Dan Cannon Auditorium.
Elsewhere, the food court will be another draw for patrons throughout the week, with many longtime vendors returning to serve all types of cuisine.
Thompson noted the Pasco Fair prides itself on having one of the best food courts in the fair industry.
“We have the ‘best of the best.’ It’s not your run-of-the-mill food,” Thompson said.
The fair will officially kick off with a parade in downtown Dade City on Feb. 18 at 11:30 a.m. That afternoon will feature a celebrity milk-off at the fairgrounds between Pasco County Commission Chairman Ron Oakley and former Commissioner Sylvia Young.
Simply put, the event offers myriad options for fair-goers.
“There’s something for everybody,” Thompson said.
For more information about the fair, visit PascoCountyFair.com.
Pasco County Fair
When: Feb. 18 through Feb. 24 (Hours vary).
What: Rides, food, games, entertainment, livestock and exhibits.
Where: Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52
Cost: Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 through 12; parking is free. Wristbands are available for purchase for unlimited rides. Parking is free. (On Feb. 24, one child is admitted free with each adult)
Published January 23, 2019