DADE CITY — Rodeo riders and midway rides, magicians and racing pigs, youth agriculture shows, live entertainment and traditional fair food. Yep, it’s time for the annual Pasco County Fair to get underway.
The fair, in its 73rd year, runs Feb. 16-23 and kicks off with the pageantry of the annual parade. It starts at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Rodney B. Cox Elementary School and finishes up on Live Oak Avenue.
Country singer and songwriter Billy Dean will serve as grand marshal. He also will perform at 7 p.m. that evening with guest performer Chloe Channell on the Clayton Way Entertainment Stage.
Other musical entertainment includes bluegrass performers Little Roy and Lizzie (6 p.m. Feb. 19), the gospel group Little Vision (6 p.m. Feb. 20) and Group Bajo Zero, a Latin group that incorporates a variety of musical genres into their unique sound (2 p.m. Feb. 23). Add to that strolling magicians and musicians.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned rodeo features bull riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing and more. It will be at 8 p.m. p.m. Feb. 21 and 6 p.m. Feb. 22. Those attending the Friday night rodeo are asked to wear pink to support breast cancer. The Saturday event will feature a military tribute. Admission is free with paid admission to the fair.
Other entertainment includes Robinson’s Racing Pigs and Paddling Porkers, Purgatory Ironworks and The Rubber Chicken Show. And, of course, the traditional celebrity milk-off will be at 4 p.m. Monday at the Bartle Livestock Pavilion.
Youth agriculture and livestock exhibits, showings and sales will be held throughout the run of the fair,
Those with a competitive knack for chowing down might want to enter the annual spaghetti eating contest (5:30 p.m. Feb. 19). Got talent? Give a try at the karaoke contest (7 p.m. Feb. 22). Or check out the Pasco Showcase of Talent (6 p.m. Feb. 17-18), where cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.
The winner of the Miss Pasco pageant on Jan. 19 will be on hand for introductions. Other pageants during the fair include Miss Heart of Florida (6 p.m. Feb. 21) and Miss Pasco Princess and Miss Pasco Prince Baby Pageant (12 noon on Feb. 22.)
If you go:
The Pasco County Fair will be Feb. 17-23 at the Pasco County Fair Grounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City. Regular tickets: $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-12. Ages 5 and under are free. For fair hours and daily schedule, go to pascocountyfair.com.