Pigz in Z’Hills festival set for April 10

A scaled-down version of the annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Fest has been set for April 10.

The festival, being held for the 11th year, will take place at the Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road, directly across from the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Melonie Monson, executive director of Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce Director (File)

Unlike previous years, activities will be staggered throughout the day, to accommodate health and safety protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic.

A drive-thru BBQ meal pickup line will be in place from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., followed by a live blues concert from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., with select food vendors, such as gourmet French fries and kettle corn, as well as alcohol sales and more barbecue options.

Other happenings include an all-day cornhole toss tournament and free tours of the Zephyrhills Museum of Military History, to get look at refurbished wartime planes and other unique memorabilia.

Tickets are expected to be made available for purchase within the next couple weeks.

Various packages will be sold separately for the drive-thru meal and concert, plus cornhole tournament entry fees.

The popular food and music shindig has been twice postponed already — pushed back from scheduled dates in January and February.

A socially distanced live music concert will be among the happenings at the 11th annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Fest. Chuck Riley’s All-Star Band will be one of the lead acts, among other performers.

This latest reboot is all but set in stone, however.

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Committee recently came to a consensus with how to proceed with a setup, taking into account various COVID-19 protocols.

Working in the festival’s favor is an anticipated increased rollout of coronavirus vaccines by springtime, plus a venue of more than a dozen acres, Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce Director Melonie Monson told The Laker/Lutz News in a recent interview.

“We just kept building and formulating, and we really felt, ‘Let’s go forward with this. This event is really important to Zephyrhills, so we wanted to do it,” Monson said.

“It was a relief to finally come up with a plan of action, and to be able to find a way that we could put this on safely and still really just showcase our community. Now comes the hard work though of making sure we put it all together, but we’re excited about this format, and we’re kind of really thrilled to see where it goes.”

While this year’s Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Fest will be pared down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there’ll be a variety of barbecue options to go around for all attendees.

Noticeably absent from this year’s makeshift event is the prized BBQ cookoff contest that often attracts more than 60 competitive teams, plus a slew of judges and countless volunteers.

The BBQ showdown often draws professional grilling teams who travel to barbecue events all over the United States.

Monson said it was “a hard decision” among stakeholders to remove the hit cookoff competition from this year’s festival, but “we knew we could not do that safely in a COVID environment, so unfortunately, that had to go away this year.”

Other elements, such as a classic car show, a business expo and a kid’s fun zone won’t be part of the festivities this year either, according to Monson said.

With a date, time and location locked in for Pigz In Z’Hills, organizers and volunteers are working diligently to get the logistics all in place over the next two months.

This includes finalizing a full music lineup.

One of the confirmed headliners is Chuck Riley’s All Star Band, a longtime festival act.

As for other performers, Monson teased, “I think everybody’s going to be shocked when they see who all is going to be there.”

Here’s how the concert will be laid out for attendees:

  • Spots are reserved by purchasing a 10-by-10 foot grid, good for up to six people.
  • Price points will be based on vicinity to the music stage, with prices ranging from $40 to $100.
  • Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
Between all the grub and tunes, a daylong cornhole toss tournament figures to be a popular spot at this year’s Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Fest.

For individuals or families just looking for a hearty BBQ meal, the drive-thru option will offer a choice of pulled chicken or brisket, plus an assortment of sides. Cost for that is $15 per person, though there is expected to be family meal option, too.

Meantime, the cornhole tournament will be broken into a recreation and competitive divisions, with a $500 prize to the winning team.

Entry fees are expected to be $20 and $40 per team, based on division.

Pigz in Z’Hills is not just a community entertainment tradition, but a major fundraiser for student scholarships, and about a dozen nonprofits and community organizations, such as Boy Scouts, East Pasco YMCA, and Relay for Life of Zephyrhills.

To help make up for anticipated funding shortages from this year’s pared down event, the local chamber this month launched a campaign called “Love Your Non-Profit” which showcases different organizations and solicits public donations for each.

“Being able to give scholarships to our youth here in Zephyrhills is a big deal, and we just need to do it. They don’t need to suffer. They’ve already been through enough,” the chamber director said.

For more information, call 813-782-1913, or email .

Published February 10, 2021

A sizzlin’, smokin’ and searin’ good time

Thousands of people headed out to the 10th annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival for a common reason – to listen to live Blues music, while enjoying barbeque chicken, pork and brisket.

With a loaded baked potato from Sadie’s Roasted Corn LTD in hand, Michael Harper, of Hudson, feeds a bite to Leslie, his wife of eight years. The duo also tried out the corn on the cob, which they both said was delicious. (Christine Holtzman)

The event, presented by The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce, took place on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18 at the Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road.

The People’s Choice dessert competition was held on Jan. 17. A steak competition and kid’s grilling competition, both sanctioned by the Steak Cookoff Association, also were held that evening. A cornhole tournament with a $500 purse and the music of live, local bands rounded out the evening.

The Smoke Shack’s John Caldwell uses a large knife to chop up some brisket that has been slow cooking for 18 hours. Caldwell, who travels all over the country competing in barbeque events, spends his time between his homes in Lakeland, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; and, Columbus, Ohio.

The main event on Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., featured the delicious food offerings of 60 professional and backyard barbeque teams. They were competing for a share of the $10,000 in cash prizes and bragging rights. The competition is approved by the Florida BBQ Association.

While tucking into their delicious plates of barbeque, attendees were entertained by some top Blues musical acts, including The Sauce Boss, Chris Walker Band, Sean Chambers, and Chuck Riley’s All Stars.

Besides sampling the barbeque, event-goers could visit the Kids Zone, complete with games, bounce houses and a rock-climbing tower. Those attending also could check out a Business Expo, which featured numerous local businesses and vendors with products available for sale. Other options included a Swine & Shine Car Show, access to the Zephyrhills Military History Museum, and another cornhole tournament with a $1,000 purse.

Published January 22, 2020

Twelve-year-old Erin Potter, left, presses lemons, while 7-year-old Aspen Bahr takes orders for cups of freshly squeezed lemonade. The girls are both from Zephyrhills and are helping out at Aspen’s Uncle Kevin’s business, Bahr’s Smokin Butts. Potter estimates that she has squeezed over 100 lemons in a three-hour span.
Deb Cadieux, of Zephyrhills, left, and her husband, Doug, clap at the end of Sean Chambers’ performance of his original song, ‘Red Hot Mama.’ The duo, both dressed in tie-dye T-shirts, were dancing in the special area in front of the stage that was reserved for dancing.
Billboard charting artist and Florida native Sean Chambers, left, jams out on stage with his band.
Five-year-old Xander Tombillo, of Wesley Chapel, zooms down a giant, inflatable slide inside the Kids Zone area of the festival. The youngster was at the event with his parents Kate and Matt, who estimated Xander had gone down the slide at least 20 times already.
Proudly wearing the iconic Pigz in Z’Hills hat, James Messer, of Dade City, enjoys a cold brew while smiling at his wife, Erica, who was shopping at the vendor booths inside of the Business Expo area.

Pigz in Z’Hills to celebrate its 10th year

The largest event in Zephyrhills is gearing up for its 10th anniversary — with a few more fixins’.

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce’s annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Fest is set for Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road, Zephyrhills.

Admission is free, but parking is $10.

The annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival returns on Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There also will be a special Friday night event, to celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary. (File)

To kick off its 10th year, festivities have been added for a special Friday celebration on Jan. 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will include a steak cookoff and kid’s grilling competition sanctioned by the Steak Cookoff Association, as well as a second-day cornhole tournament, “People’s Choice” dessert contest, and a local band showcase featuring Hired Gun, The Groovediggers, Time Travelers, and Jase Randall Band.

“We just wanted Friday night to be a local celebration where people could come relax and have a good time,” said Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce Executor Director Melonie Monson, who’s organizing Pigz in Z’Hills.

As usual, Saturday’s main event is the Florida BBQ Association-approved barbecue competition, with 60 competition teams, both professional and backyard, vying for top honors and trophies in four standard categories: chicken, pork, brisket and ribs. Professional teams have the added incentive of potentially winning $10,000 in prize money.

While attendees munch on barbecue, live blues music will be going all day long, with a lineup headlined by Sean Chambers, along with the Chris Walker Band, Chuck Riley’s All-Star Band, and Sauce Boss.

There will be plenty of other entertainment on hand, too.

A business expo also will be featured, and there’s the return of a two-team, double-elimination cornhole tournament with a chance to win a cash prize and a trophy.

Car enthusiasts are welcome to participate in the car show, or to simply check out the motorcycles and vehicles on display.

Visitors also can get a free tour of the Zephyrhills Military History Museum, and take a look at refurbished wartime planes and other unique memorabilia.

The barbecue festival is the largest event in Zephyrhills. Last year’s drew a record crowd of 13,500.

Youths can get in on the fun in the Kidz Zone, which will have face painting, arts and crafts, and games.

Last year’s festival marked its largest showing ever — with over 13,500 attendees. The figure represents how far the event has come in a decade, when it drew about 2,500 patrons in its first year back in 2011.

Monson feels the event’s success lies in the community involvement and the 200-plus volunteers who come together to help out, to ensure everyone has a good time.

The event also serves as a large fundraiser for scholarships, youth leadership programs and children’s charities.

The chamber director put it like this: “When people come, they have a positive experience, so they’re telling others. We have a real strong motto that we want everyone to be happy. We want everybody to feel like, ‘This is exactly what our town represents.’”

Over the years, Pigz in Z’Hills has distinguished itself to be a qualifier for three prestigious championship contests:  Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg, Tennessee, long considered the Super Bowl of barbecue contests; American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City, the world’s largest and oldest barbecue contest; and, the Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational in Orlando.

Many of the competitive teams coming to Zephyrhills are professionals who travel to barbecue events all over the United States.

Zephyrhills resident and business owner Randy Light, of Puroclean Cooking Team, outlined what all it takes to ensure a strong showing in the barbecue contest, during a recent Zephyrhills Chamber breakfast meeting.

He explained cooking teams begin prepping at least a week before the contest, deciding which types and cuts of meats to purchase, and testing out different sauces and seasonings.

Light noted the chicken category takes the longest to prep, compared to other meats, as there’s a lengthy process of trimming, weighing, brining, injecting and so on.

“Chicken’s one of the hardest things to do,” he said. “You don’t just take it out and grill it.”

Light added a lot of thought also goes into which types of barbecue sauce to use for each judge that will appeal to the competition’s 75 judges. Because some judges might prefer hot sauce, while other prefer sweet, he said his team tries to find a “happy medium sauce.”

Light acknowledged the entire process takes much time and effort, and he enjoys every bit of the experience.

“We have a lot of fun cooking for the community. It’s awesome,” Light said.

For more information, visit ZephyrhillsChamber.org, call (813) 782-1913, or visit the Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Facebook Page.

Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival
Where:
 Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road, Zephyrhills
When: Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission; $10 for parking
Details: Guests can enjoy smoked barbecued foods right off the grill, listen to blues bands, play cornhole, and check out car and aviation shows.
Info: Call (813) 782-1913, or visit ZephyrhillsChamber.org.

Published January 15, 2020

Festival offers heaping helpings of barbecue and blues

People of all ages headed to the ninth annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival to sample some ribs, barbecue chicken or pulled pork — and get their fill of the blues.

Smoke emanates from the grill, as Edwin Alvarez, of Kissimmee, prepares chicken on a stick, which is called Pincho. Alvarez and his boss, Luis Merced, of Largo, were preparing food for patrons at the barbecue festival. (Fred Bellet)

The scent of barbecue filled the air, Benny the Pig made the rounds and people sported pig hats — as they strolled around the Zephyrhills Community Venue, at 5200 Airport Road.

Some barbecue chefs traveled from far-off places to take part in a competition involving about 60 teams who vied for bragging rights and prizes, and a chance to advance to the World Food Championship.

Besides being able to enjoy barbecue, event-goers could check out items being offered by various vendors and could listen to blues musicians.

There was a car show and an aviation show, too.

Proceeds benefit community organizations, such as the YMCA, and for scholarships for Zephyrhills High School students.

First-timers at the Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival, left, Coral Etshman, of Tampa, gives friend Reggie Bowers, of Tampa, a taste of pulled pork.
The Ellie Lee Band was among the lineup of bands performing at the ninth annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival. Other bands playing were the Dave Shepard Band, Chuck Riley’s All Stars, The Bird Tribe and headliner Damon Fowler.
Jerry Newell, of Zephyrhills, had his own pig hat, which he wore to the festival.

 

Zephyrhills gets ready for Pigz in Z’Hills

The ninth annual Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival is set for Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road, in Zephyrhills.

About 60 teams are expected to vie for bragging rights and prizes during the barbecue competition at the event.

Ed Wright, left, and Chuck Riley, of the Ed Wright Duo, were the opening act at last year’s Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival. Riley is set to liven the stage this year with his All-Stars band. (File)

The cooking showdown will determine who advances to the World Food Championship, with competitors testing their skills in preparing smoked chicken, pork, brisket and ribs.

In addition to enjoying barbecue foods, those attending can check out the offerings of various goods and craft vendors, and listen to blues performances throughout the day.

The musical lineup includes the Bird Tribe, the Ellie Lee Band, Chuck Riley’s All-Stars and the Dave Shepard Band.

A business expo also will be featured, and there’s a cornhole tournament with a chance to win a cash prize and a trophy.

Car enthusiasts are welcome to participate in the car show, or to simply check out the motorcycles and vehicles on display.

Visitors also can take a look at refurbished planes, and there’s a free tour of the Military History Museum.

Youths can have some fun, too, in the Kidz Zone, which will offer bounce houses and a climbing wall, and the chance to build birdhouses, or have their faces painted.

Proceeds benefit community organizations, such as the YMCA, and for scholarships for Zephyrhills High School students.

Admission is free and parking is $10.

No coolers or pets are allowed, but guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

For more information or to register for the barbecue competition, call (813) 782-1913, or visit ZephyrhillsChamber.org.

Pigz in Z’Hills BBQ & Blues Festival
Where: Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road, Zephyrhills
When: Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission; $10 for parking
Details: Guests can enjoy smoked barbecued foods right off the grill, listen to blues bands, and check out a car show and aviation show.
Info: Call (813) 782-1913, or visit ZephyrhillsChamber.org.

Published January 16, 2019

Let the good times roll

Part of the secret to having fun is knowing where to find it.

And, then once you have figured out some options, it’s good to know early enough so you can do what you need to do, to maximize your enjoyment.

That’s the idea behind this master calendar: It’s a list of fun stuff to do in 2018 — giving readers plenty of time to consider their choices and make some plans.

So, as New Year gets underway, get ready to enjoy yourselves.

January

Raising Cane, a sweet & spicy event
When: Jan. 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City

Cost: $5 per person, children under 5 free

Details: Syrup-tasting contest; cane grinding; sugar cane pole tossin’; iron skillet tossin’; chili cook-off, chili verde and salsa competition; entertainment; and, vendors

Eighth annual Pigz in Z’ Hills BBQ & Blues
When: Jan 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road

Cost: Free admission; $10 parking. Benefiting local youth and education programs.

Details: Mouth-watering barbecue, blues music, swine and shine car show, aircraft displays, World War II museum, beer and wine, gift vendors, business expo, kids zone and more. No coolers, limited seating, so bring chairs.

Information: Call (813) 782-1913, or visit ZephyrhillsChamber.org.

13th annual Suncoast Arts Fest
When: Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Jan. 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel

Cost: 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; kids arts garden and maker space, and more

(File)

Dade City’s annual Kumquat Festival
When: Jan. 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Downtown Dade City

Cost: Admission and parking are free; free shuttles for satellite lots

Details: 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.

Information: DadeCityChamber.org

Shabby Chic Vintage Market & Artisan Day
When: Jan. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The Grove at Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel

Cost: Free admission and parking

Details: Artisans, live music, original art, painted furniture, antique vendors, shabby style and cottage glam

February

Farm Fest & Quilt Show
When: Feb. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Feb. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Florida Pioneer Museum & Village,15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City

Cost: $10 for adults on Feb. 3; $5 for adults on Feb. 4; $5 for children ages 6 through 12 either day; free for children age 5 and under

Details: Southern Draft Horse Pulling Competition on Feb. 3 at noon; Hoffman Challenge Quilt Collection Show of Quilts and Clothing; Quilt Appraisal and Trunk Show, concessions and food trucks, antique car show, children’s activities, live entertainment on Feb. 4. (Limited seating, lawn chairs welcome for horse pull).

Information: PioneerFloridaMuseum.org

Florida Ranch Days
When: Feb. 10 and Feb. 11

Where: Little Everglades Ranch, 17951 Hamilton Road (U.S. 301 and Gould Road), Dade City

Cost: Free admission; parking, $10 for cars and $25 for RVs

Details: Live entertainment on two stages; strolling performers; swamp buggy rides; guided ranch tours; face painting; petting farm; games and rides; arts and crafts; food and drink

Information: RanchDays.com

Fourth annual Snowbird Palooza
When: Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills

Cost: Free parking and free admission

Details: Free coffee and doughnut mingle hour, fun family activities, free health checks, card games and tournaments, live entertainment and other activities.

Information: Email .

Pasco County Fair
When: Feb. 19 to Feb. 25

Where: Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City

Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 6 through 12; free for children age 5 and under

Details: Midway, fair food, entertainment, competitions

Information and schedule: PascoCountyFair.com

Living History and Civil War
When: Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Pioneer Florida Museum & Village,15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City

Cost: $5 admission, children age 5 and under are free

Details: Civil War Reenactments and Living History Encampment. Visitors can tour authentic confederate and union camps, and get a glimpse of what life was like during the U.S. Civil War. There will be battles each day at 2 p.m.

March

Big Flea Market at the Old Lutz School
When: March 2 and March 3, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: The Old Lutz School, 18819 U.S. 41 N.

Cost: Free admission

Details: Thousands of items for sale to generate funds for causes supported by the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club

108th Founders’ Day Parade & Heritage Festival
When: March 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (historic downtown Zephyrhills), parade begins at 10 a.m.

Details: Moonshine, Turpentine and Timber is the theme of the parade; as well as a local art display, food vendors, petting zoo, kids’ carnival games and more.

Also, festivities are planned at a second venue.

When: 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Zephyrhills Community Venue, 5200 Airport Road

Details: Live concert, food and merchandise vendors, Busch Gardens penguins and fireworks at 9 p.m.

Information: MainStreetZephyrhills.org, or call (813) 780-1414.

Savage Race
When: March 17 and March 18

Where: 17951 Hamilton Road, Dade City

Cost: Parking $10 for cars; $25 for RVs; spectators, $15 in advance; $25 at the door

Details: Twenty-five obstacles, mud in your underwear, chip timing, T-shirt, beer, action photos, camaraderie, memories

Information: SavageRace.com

Dogs Day in Dade City
When: March 17, 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

Third annual Land O’ Lakes Music Fest
When: March 24, noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park (formerly the Land O’ Lakes Community Center), 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.

Cost: Free admission; $10 parking (Bring a lawn chair or blanket)

Details: This Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce event is presented by Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. It features live music, arts and crafts vendors, other booths and more.

Information: Call (813) 909-2722.

Summer Camp Expo
When: March 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Florida Hospital Center Ice, 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., in Wesley Chapel

Cost: Free admission

Details: Families get a chance to find out about summer camps and activities in the area and businesses get a chance to reach their target audience. There will be entertainment, bounce houses, activity zones, a photo booth, giveaways, character visits and more.

Information: FamilyFriendlyTampaBay.com

Gran Fondo Florida
When: March 24

Where: San Antonio

Details: Bicycle road race through the rolling hills of Dade City and San Antonio. Cyclists can choose to ride three distances: 35 miles, 55 miles or 100 miles, and are timed on certain stretches of the race.

Information: GranFondoNationalChampionshipSeries.com

Jelly Bean Fling
When: March 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City

Cost: $5 admission, free parking

Details: Mr. Tommy will join in the Easter Parade, kids will make Easter bonnets, there will be Easter egg hunts for different age groups; and there will be games, a bounce house, face painting and more.

Information: PioneerFloridaMuseum.org

April

Easter Sunrise Service
Where: Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills

When: April 1, 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., rain or shine

Cost: Free admission

Details: Live Christian music, an inspirational message, a live dove release and free refreshments. Seating is limited and lawn chairs are encouraged.

Information: Call Jane Freeman at (813) 783-6192.

Wesley Chapel Boat Show
When: April 20 to April 22

Where: The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel

What: Event showcases boats, boating accessories, fishing gear, apparel and other items.

Information: TheShopsatWiregrass.com

June

Zephyrhills Summerfest
When: June 23, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills

Details: Dance and watermelon eating contests, food vendors, bounce houses, family games, crafters, family activities. Event concludes with fireworks.

Information: Email

July

Lutz Fourth of July Parade and festivities
Where: Downtown Lutz, near the Train Depot

When: July 4, parade starts at 10 a.m.

Cost: Free admission and parking

Details: There’s a race and other festivities before and after the parade. The winner of the honorary Lutz Guv’na race is announced following the parade. Additional details will be available closer to the time of the event.

September

A salute to Sept. 11
Where: In front of the Old Lutz School, 18819 U.S. 41, in Lutz

When: Sept. 11, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free admission, free parking

Details: The GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club honors those lost on Sept. 11 by waving flags in front of the Old Lutz School.

Information: GFWCLutzLandoLakesWomansClub.org

October

San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival
When: Traditionally held the third weekend of October

Where: City Park, 12202 Main St., San Antonio

Cost: Admission and parking are free

Details: This event typically features music, gopher tortoise races, handmade arts and crafts, children’s rides and games, pumpkin patch, farmer’s market, farm animals, food trucks, beer garden, pioneer village and more.

Shabby Chic Vintage Market and Artisan Day
When: Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The Grove at Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel

Details: Artisans, live music, original art, painted furniture, antique vendors, shabby style and cottage glam

14th annual Wesley Chapel Fall Festival
When: Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: The Grove at Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., in Wesley Chapel

Details: Simply Events and The Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce have partnered to bring the community to present the 14th Annual Wesley Chapel Fall Festival, which will include a carnival with rides and games, live music, delicious fall foods, beverages, arts and craft area with pumpkin painting, local business expo, Pumpkin Patch, Halloween celebration on Oct. 27.

Information: WesleyChapelChamber.com

November

30th annual Florida Bug Jam
When: Nov. 10 and Nov. 11

Where: Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City

Information: FloridaBugJam.com

December

Lutz Arts & Crafts Show
When: Dec. 1 and Dec. 2

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

34th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration
Where: Florida Hospital Zephyrhills front lawn, 7050 Gall Blvd.

When: Dec. 2, noon to 7 p.m., rain or shine

Details: Tree decorating begins at noon. There’s an evening program from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., with musical entertainment, a Christmas message, the lighting of the trees and fireworks.

Information: Call Jane Freeman at (813) 783-6192.

Christmas in the Park
When: Traditionally the first Sunday in December

Where: City Park, 12202 Main St., in downtown San Antonio

Cost: Free admission, free refreshments

Details: Annual lighting of giant Christmas cards, old-fashioned carol singing and other nostalgic touches

11th annual Tampa Tour de Clay
When: Dec. 8 and Dec. 9

Where: Stops at area pottery studios

Cost: 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.

Information: TampaTourDeClay.com

Festival of Lights on Main Street
When: Traditionally held on the first Saturday in December  

Where: On Fifth Avenue, from Seventh to 10th streets, in downtown Zephyrhills

Cost: Admission is free

Details: The event includes food, entertainment, holiday activities and a Christmas parade.

Old Lutz School Christmas House
When: Traditionally held on select dates in December.

Where: 18819 U.S. 41 N., Lutz

Cost: Free admission; donations of toys and nonperishable foods encouraged

For details closer to the time of the event, visit OldLutzSchool.com.

Published January 3, 2018