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Fair 'work of heart' set to get pumping

A parade in Dade City and a free midway preview on Monday kick off the annual Pasco County Fair.

By MICHELLE JONES

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2001


DADE CITY -- Margie and George Franklin, along with their corps of volunteers, are putting in long hours for this year's Pasco County Fair.

"We have 75 volunteers and each one of them pull two or more shifts," George Franklin said. "It's a good thing they do what they do to make it a success."

"A Work of Heart -- the Beat Goes On" is the theme for this year's fair and parade. The parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday and is traditionally the largest in Dade City. It kicks off the festivities for the 54th annual Pasco County Fair.

Offering old-fashioned family fun, the fair will open with a free midway preview at 3:30 p.m. Monday and will continue through Feb. 25 at the 40-acre fairgrounds on State Road 52 in Dade City.

Mounted horse units, baton twirlers, marching bands, commercial and civic-sponsored floats, and individual rigs will vie for the best-of-parade award. And since Monday is a school holiday, children should be out in droves to both participate in and watch the parade. Russell Rhodes, a reporter for WTVT-Ch. 13's Good Day Tampa Bay, will be the grand marshal. Contestants from the various fair pageants also will ride in the parade.

The parade route will begin on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, travel east to Seventh Street, where it will turn south to Florida Avenue, and then west to end at Pasco Elementary School.

Admission to the fairgrounds is free on Monday, and the midway will feature the $12 pay-one-price special for unlimited rides. This midway special will be featured again on Thursday. On Wednesday the midway will have $1 rides.

Exhibits won't be open until 3 p.m. Tuesday when admission to the fair is $4 for adults and $2 for children, ages 6-12. Parking is $1. On Monday there will be a Celebrity Milk-Off at 4 p.m. at the Albert A. Barthle Livestock Pavilion, and at 7 p.m. the youth heifer show is scheduled.

Each day during the run of the fair entertainment will be provided with the cost of gate admission.

The entertainment includes: The Lewis Family at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Wednesday, Gospel Music Night on Thursday at 5 and 8 p.m. and the Miss Heart of Florida Pageant at 8 p.m. Friday. On Saturday contestants will vie for the title of Miss Pasco County and Miss Pasco County Fair at 8 p.m., and on Sunday the Heart of Florida Country Jamboree will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jack Russell terrier events are also on Sunday's agenda from 1 to 5 p.m.

Other entertainment includes Rock It the Robot, a 9-foot tall interactive robot; Tweet the giraffe at Animals in Motion; Mac McAllister, also known as Chuckwagon Mac; and Bounce, Ooo La La and Daniel, a juggling, unicycling and balancing act.

Events include baby pageants, a hog show, a steer show, dairy exhibits and sheep, rabbit and poultry displays.

The Back Porch will feature hand-made and homemade items created by adults; the art exhibit will display arts and crafts created by residents; and the youth exhibit will feature items and baked goods by the youth. All have to be residents of Pasco County.

- Michelle Jones covers central Pasco community news. She can be reached at (813) 226-3459. Her e-mail address is jones@sptimes.com.

If you go

Pasco County Parade and Fair

WHEN: Parade: 1 p.m. Monday, Fair: Monday 3:30-9 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday 3-11 p.m.; Friday, 3-11:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-midnight and Sunday, noon-7 p.m.

WHERE: Dade City.

COST: Parade and fair is free on Monday; Tuesday-Sunday $4 for adults and $2 for children. Parking is $1.

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