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  1. Hernando

Hernando County Fair hopes people come for the funnel cakes, stay for agricultural education

Fair-goers wait in line to get on a ride during opening day of last year’s Hernando County Fair and Youth Livestock Show in Brooksville. This year’s fair runs April 12 -20. Times (2018)
Fair-goers wait in line to get on a ride during opening day of last year’s Hernando County Fair and Youth Livestock Show in Brooksville. This year’s fair runs April 12 -20. Times (2018)
Published Apr. 9, 2019

BROOKSVILLE — The top draws at the Hernando County Fair are the same as ever: the lights of the rides on the midway, the scent of fried dough, the frenzied clangs of the demolition derby. And those staples will get some updates at this year's fair, which runs April 12-20, said fair president Shari Klimas.

A new vendor, Arnold Amusements, will handle the midway. Klimas said last week that she didn't know yet which rides would be featured. And the demolition derby will get a youthful addition, with kids piloting tiny Power Wheels. The demolition for them will be limited to balloons attached to the outside of the battery-powered carts.

With the theme "Wagon Wheels to Ferris Wheels," this year's fair continues to highlight Hernando County's rural, agricultural past and present. Exhibitions and competitions will showcase pig races and pie-making, horticulture and canning, how butter gets made and how parts of a cow go into building a car.

"You've got a lot of people that have probably never milked a cow before," Klimas said. "There's an opportunity to come in and educate."

The emphasis on local food and art will show "the best of what Hernando County has to offer," she said. And she hopes people — especially kids — will come for the demolition derby or the funnel cakes and wind up learning something along the way.

If you go: The 2019 Hernando County Fair and Youth Livestock Show runs April 12-20

Tickets: Free for ages 3 and under ; $4, ages 4-12; $8, ages 13 and up

Arena shows (includes fair admission): $10, ages 12 and under; $15, adults

Gates open: 5 p.m. weekdays; Noon on Saturdays; 1 p.m. on Sunday

Demolition derby: Figure-8 derby, 7 p.m. on April 19; traditional derby, 7 p.m. on April 20; kids' Power Wheels demolition derby; 7:30 p.m. on April 16

Other events include: Miss Hernando Beauty Pageant at 3 p.m. Saturday; greased pig contest at 6 p.m. Saturday; swine and rabbit auction at 6:30 p.m., April 17; steer show and showmanship at 6 p.m., April 18; and mutton busting at 6 p.m., April 20

Daily attractions include: hypnotism and magic shows, camel rides, helicopter rides and musical performances.

For more information: hernandofairgrounds.com

Contact Jack Evans at jevans@tampabay.com. Follow @JackHEvans.

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