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Fair board member tells why county fair is good deal more

(ran North, East editions)

Carol Hedman is on the board of directors for the Pasco County Fair, now in its 59th year. She gave the Times the skinny on this year's offerings.

ON THE FOOD: "A lot of people come to the fair for the food." And organizers won't just let any old corn dog vendor in.

"We're real particular," she said. "We require anyone coming in to send a photo and look it over to see what their operation looks like. We see their menu."

Variety is important. "You don't want to have too many corn dogs. You want everyone to be happy."

She's confident they have the right mix of fair staples such as cotton candy and candied apples, as well as some non-traditional offerings such as Chinese and Creole food.

ON THE PRICE: "The State Fair is expensive. We try to keep ours where it's affordable. The same people come. If you're going to go to the state fair, you can come here too. It's a minitype offering that is still affordable. We have the same rides, the same vendors. If you like fairs, you can go to both."

ON THE EXPERIENCE: "This is a small town fair, but it's kind of neat because it's like stepping back in time. You go up to the barn and there's kids with their pigs. It's just kind of neat to see that there's kids still like that."

ON FIXING LAST-MINUTE GLITCHES: "We were supposed to have the Doggies of the Wild West (which features various canine tricks) but the man fell and got hurt. So, he had to cancel." Instead, they booked an old standby, Kenny Ahern, who promises to try to incorporate the fair's "It's Dog Gone Fun" theme into his silent comedy routine.