Fair season is upon us, and Pasco will get into the mix with two offerings on either side of the county starting next week. The Pasco County Fair will kick off in Dade City, while Bishop Larkin Catholic School hosts its annual carnival, midway rides and all, in Port Richey.
The festivities at the 66th annual Pasco County Fair get under way with a parade starting at 1 p.m. Monday through downtown Dade City. Some 45,000 attendees are expected to pass through the gates at the fairgrounds over seven days to get a whiff of those funnel cakes and enjoy old time favorites such as the championship rodeo, celebrity milking contest, the Pasco Showcase of Talent, Miss Pasco Pageant, demolition derby and, of course, the thrill of the rides on the midway.
Youngsters throughout the county will showcase their talents as the buildings on the fairgrounds feature youth and adult competitions. Think art, plants, animals and more. Entertainment throughout the week includes bluegrass, Southern gospel and an Elvis tribute along with a butterfly experience, racing pigs and a live bear show.
A first this year is the Florida State Pedal Tractor Pulling Competition, open to youth ages 4 to 12, which is slated for all seven fair days and is the first to be held in the state. The top three finishers in each age group each day advance to the state finals held on Feb. 24. The three top finishers in each age group at the state finals are eligible to go to the national competition in September in South Dakota.
On the other side of the county, Bishop Larkin Catholic School will host its carnival starting Thursday on the 4-acre campus in Port Richey. Now in its fifth year, the four-day carnival offers midway rides, a craft fair and vendor expo, karaoke contest, fish fry and barbecue. Entertainment includes Tampa cover band Luna Blue, the Worship Experience of LifeSpring and Shepherd's View with Scott Fallon wrapping it all up on Feb. 24.