Ladies and gentlemen, it’s fair season.
That means good rides, good entertainment and good food — or bad food, if you’re a fitness expert. If they can deep-fry it, you can probably buy it at a fair.
The Florida State Fair in Tampa is underway and the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City kicks off at the end of the month.
But if you don’t catch the one in the middle, you’re really missing out.
The Pasco County Fair begins Feb. 16 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, naturally, and there’s a lot to see and do. You can certainly purchase wristbands to ride the rides, and play carnival games until your wallet runs dry.
But this is “On the Cheap.” We’re looking to save you money.
And the truth is, there are so many fun things to experience at the fair that are already included in the admission price, you could go for the whole day and not spend a penny once you get inside. No matter what you like to do, there’s something that will catch your eye.
Let’s start with the show animals: Local fairs have always been places to see the very best in livestock, and this is no exception. Bulls, steers, heifers and other animals will be on display, shown and judged.
But there are also other animals, like alligators and seals — not together, of course.
They’re not looking for ribbons. They’re there to entertain. Kachunga & the Alligator Show and the Sea Lion Splash are two regular shows that perform daily at the fair. And if you like your entertainment on two legs, Ron Diamond’s magic and illusion show will offer sleight of hand, comedy and even some hypnosis.
Oh, did I mention the pigs yet?
Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Paddling Porkers have been a fair staple for years, and for good reason. It might be your only chance all year to see racing pigs: Little pigs, mid-size pigs and giant pigs racing around a track to the delight of sizeable crowds. It’s as weird as it sounds, and it’s a lot of fun, too.
On special nights, the Pasco County Fair also has boxing matches and rodeos. Throw in plant sales and a baby pageant, and you have enough to keep you busy for a couple of visits.
Again, none of that costs extra. It’s all included in your fair admission.
So while you’re free to spend some money and have a good time, it’s not required. Just pay at the gate and enjoy all the different events.
Regular admission, by the way, is $8 for adults and $5 for children, ages 6 to 12. If they’re younger than that, it’s free. Parking is free, too. That’s a good deal, but it’s not the best deal. If you really want to go on the cheap — and why wouldn’t you — I suggest you go on Tuesday, Feb. 18. On that day, admission is just $3 per person.
That’s a great deal for all the things you can see and do.
You’ll save so much money, you might want to treat yourself to some deep-fried candy. Just don’t tell your dentist.
Pasco County Fair
Feb. 16 through Feb. 22. It begins at 3 p.m., and usually runs until 11 p.m., or midnight.
The fairgrounds are at 36722 State Road 52 in Dade City.
For more information, visit PascoCountyFair.org.
Published February 11, 2015