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2007 county fair to open at new site with limitations

By ANDREW MEACHAM, Times Staff Writer
Published August 31, 2007


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The Hillsborough County Fair opens in October at a new site. But red tape cost organizers time, so the midway food and rides will have to wait one more year.

Instead, the fair will run Oct. 24-28 with a bigger and better livestock show, manager Tom Umiker said. Downsizing organizers' ambitions is just one more growing pain since moving to an 80-acre site at State Road 60 and Sydney-Washer Road in Dover. The fair leases the property from the county for $10 a year.

A host of permits and governmental approvals has slowed down plans for a full opening day with carnival rides, food and entertainment. There's the soil, for one thing.

The former phosphate mine still contains fine sand unsuitable for automobile traffic.

"We need to make sure we're completely comfortable," Umiker said.

So planned activities such as an arts and crafts show, a fossil dig for children, a fall festival and a talent show are on hold until 2008.

But there should be more livestock entries than in recent years at Raymond James Stadium.

Estimated head counts include 30 to 35 dairy animals, about 60 swine, and a new commercial cattle show with 60 to 70 entries, Umiker said.

Plans for a Harvest Queen contest remain on track for 6 p.m. Sept. 15 at the County Extension Office, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner. For more information about the Hillsborough County Fair, call 737-3247 or go online to hillsboroughcountyfair.com.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at 813 661-2431 or ameacham@sptimes.com

[Last modified August 30, 2007, 22:15:08]


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