CALL FOR KUMQUAT CONTESTANTS: Registration is under way for the annual Kumquat Festival's Miss and Mr. Kumquat Festival Pageant, which will take place Jan. 16 at Calvary Assembly of God Church, 13544 U.S. 98 Bypass, Dade City.
The pageant, presented by Ierna's Heating & Cooling, will be directed by Melissa Sholler. Contestants, both girls and boys, must be between the ages of 2 and 18 as of Jan. 16 and will be judged on poise, personality, communication skills and overall presentation.
For information, visit dadecitychamber.org or call (352) 567-3769.
HOSPITALS NAMED TOP PERFORMERS: HCA Pasco County hospitals, including Medical Center of Trinity and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, were named among the nation's top performers on key quality measures.
The Joint Commission's program recognizes hospitals that attain excellence on accountability measures related to evidence-based care for certain conditions.
COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR FINALIST: The Nationals, the most prestigious competition in the home-building industry, has named Starkey Ranch a finalist for its top honor — 2016 Master-Planned Community of the Year.
Starkey Ranch is one of six contenders for the award in North America. The winner will be announced at the International Builders Show, the annual conference of the National Association of Home Builders, in Las Vegas on Jan. 19.
PHARMACISTS AWARDED CERTIFICATION: Three pharmacists — Jessica Chan, Tamara Richards and Nicholas Rigopoulos — at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, recently received certification in pharmacotherapy by the Board of Pharmacy Specialists.
TRINITY MARKETPLACE: Local small businesses will gather to showcase and sell their products from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Trinity Marketplace at the Trinity Meeting Center, 7813 Mitchell Blvd., Suite 106, in the Trinity Commons Plaza, New Port Richey.
The event will take place on the first Saturday of the month through March. Admission is free and open to the public. For information, call (727) 375-9700 or send email to events@TrinityMeetingCenter.com.
FREE NETWORKING WORKSHOP: Business professionals, owners, entrepreneurs and sales managers interested in learning more about how to build their business through a referral-based marketing strategy are invited to a free event, "Creating Referral Sucess," from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Holiday Inn Westshore, 700 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa.
This is an introduction to the Certified Networker Program, a training system for building a solid referral-based marketing strategy. The event is sponsored by the Referral Institute. For a complimentary ticket, visit referralinstitutetampa.com or send email to email@example.com.
CO.STARTERS: The Pasco Economic Development Council will have its next session of Co.Starters, a nationally renowned program that helps entrepreneurs turn an idea into a new business in 10 weeks, beginning Jan. 12. The program will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills.
Participants work with a small, supportive group of like-minded people who are all trying to start their own businesses. The process enables entrepreneurs to uncover issues, find practical solutions and leave with a deeper understanding of how to launch a successful business.
To register, visit bit.ly/costarters. Up to 16 slots are available. The cost is $295 and includes 10 weeks of instruction and all supporting materials. The deadline to register is Jan. 8.
BBQ & BLUES FESTIVAL: The sixth annual Pigz in Z'Hill BBQ & Blues Festival will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, 39450 South Ave., Zephyrhills.
The event features a barbecue competition, along with blues music. Visitors will be able to sample culinary creations by both professional and backyard competitors. There will be concessions, vendors, kids rides, classic cars and plenty of barbecue.
Admission is free; parking is $10. The music will start at 11 a.m., with a lineup including Coldiron, Wendy Rich & the Soulshakers, the RJ Howson Band and Damon Fowler.
For sponsorships and vendor information, visit zephyrhillschamber.org.
Save the date
GET PASSPORT TO EXPAND INTO INTERNATIONAL MARKETS: The Pasco Economic Development Council will host a half-day international exporting conference from 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 10 at the Residence Inn Northpointe Village, 2101 Northpointe Parkway, Lutz.
Participants will get the resources they need to expand into international markets. Tickets for the conference are $20. Sponsors are needed.
For information, send email to Suzanne@PascoEDC.com.
SMALL BUSINESS SEMINAR: Pasco Hernando SCORE is presenting a series of free small business seminars.
• Marketing to Grow Your Business, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Jan. 13, New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey.
• How to Apply for a Business Loan, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13, Hugh Embry Branch Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City.
• Understanding a Franchise Business, 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 14, Spring Hill Branch Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.
• Using the Internet in Your Business, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills.
• Internet Marketing, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, Regency Park Branch Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey.
To register and for information, visit pascohernando.score.org and click on the Local Workshops tab or call the SCORE office at (727) 842-4638.
If you have business announcements you would like to share, mail the details to Jean Hamilton, Business Digest, Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668. You may also email items to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to (352) 754-6133. Submitted items may be edited for length and clarity. Photos are published as space permits; they will not be returned.