September 26, 2008
County Fair Finds Home In Valrico
The Hillsborough County Fair, in its new location, east of Brandon at the intersection of S.R. 60 and Sydney-Washer Rd., will run from November 5-9.
In the past, the fair has been held at such places as the State Fair Grounds, the Raymond James Stadium parking lot and Winthrop Town Centre located on the corner of Bloomingdale Ave. and Providence Rd. The new location has excellent accessibility from S.R. 60, and Hillsborough County itself has a rich agricultural tradition, making it the perfect home for the fair. “It looks like the community is ready for it,” said volunteer manager of the fair, Tom Umiker.
For the past three years, the livestock expos and shows have been held at this location, but Umiker said the site was not ready for large groups of people.
The fair will feature carnival rides, fair food, youth livestock shows, an arts and crafts competition, entertainment and more.
Umiker said there will be a classic car show on Saturday, November 8, a chili cook-off sponsored by the FishHawk Rotary on Sunday November 9, and a plant sale sponsored by the FNGLA (Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association) on Saturday November 8. Other activities, Umiker said, will include racing pigs and a Battle of the Bands on Thursday November 6 and Friday November 7.
Livestock shows include dogs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, lamb, poultry, rabbits and goats on various times and days.
Umiker said that starting showing animals or other things, such as plants or baked goods, at a smaller fair like this one as opposed to the State Fair gives them a chance to learn and hone their skills before showing at a larger event. It is not; however, necessary to win to advance on to larger competitions like the Sate Fair.
There will be historical exhibits, flywheel engines, antique tractors, stream tractors and engines and an antique fire engine. Umiker is currently in negotiations with a circus to have at the fair.
Also held during the county fair is a beauty pageant, queen and Jr. queen contest, talent show, baby and senior contest, plant auction, fossil dig, back hoe rodeo, boy scouts, cows to cones ice cream crank off, gospel sing, 2007 recycled yard art contest, republican poster contest, a youth and adult plant show and a baking competition. Hillsborough County Schools will also have an exhibit as will Walgreens, that will be doing health screens at the fair.
Umiker said the fair is run by hundreds of volunteers, Umiker said the fair is an all-volunteer organization with parents and others. They set up and take down unlike other fairs, he said.
Wade shows will provide over 40 rides, games and attractions for the enjoyment of all ages. Visit their Website at www.wadeshows.com for more information.
Residents can enjoy the festivities at a low cost of $5 for while children ages 8 and under or for free with free parking.
“We’re just really anxious to get this first one under our belt,” Umiker said.
The Website is being updated daily, with a ride list of approximately 40 rides, wristband days and specials. For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com.