By Kathy L. Collins

With a theme of “Blue Jeans & Country Dreams,” the 2015 Hillsborough County Fair has something for everyone. The 19th Annual Hillsborough County Fair runs for two weekends, Thursday to Sunday, October 22 through Sunday, November 1. Visitors can enjoy carnival rides, food, talent shows, exhibits, livestock shows, circus shows, racing and swimming pigs and the firefighter show. The fair takes place east of Brandon on S.R. 60 at Sydney Washer Rd.

New to the fair this year is “Ranchers Roundup-Preserve the Brand” which is an effort to preserve an important part of the history of the county and the state. Ranchers headquartered in Hillsborough County are asked to bring their branding iron so that their brand can be burned into a piece of wood in the historical area of the fair.

In addition, in the historical area, guests can visit a blacksmith shop, visit Bill Gunn’s fruit stand, see antique tractors, visit Cowboy Camp, and see a sugar cane mill. This is also where the Hay Ride Tours of the grounds start and guests can make and take a Scarecrow.

There is plenty of entertainment at the fair, and the talents of Hillsborough County residents, young and old, are on display. Guests will not want to miss the arts and crafts, horticulture, fine arts, baking and many more.

“All of this will be on display for the enjoyment of fairgoers. A popular display is the recycled yard art, and fairgoers are asked to vote on a winning entry,” said Janet Aversa with the Hillsborough County Fair.

There are many free shows daily with admission to the fair including Robinson’s Racing Pigs, the firefighter show and the Family Fun Circus. Shows in the arena events are $10 in additions to the regular fair admission. These shows include rodeos (Extreme Ranch Rodeo, Bulls and Barrels Rodeo) on the first weekend and the ever popular motor sports, which include Tractor and Truck Pulls and Demolition Derby on the second weekend. Arrive early for these events as the 1,800 seat arena fills fast.

The 2015 Harvest Time Children’s Pageant, for girls and boys 12 years and under, will be held on Sunday, October 25. Pre-registration is open until Friday, October 16. The Harvest Queen Pageant will be held on Friday, October 23. Entries are due by Friday, October 8.

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