By Kate Quesada

River Hills Celebrates with Golf Cart Parade
The Homeowners’ Association (HOA) at River Hills in Valrico kicked off the holiday season in a colorful and fun way last month with a Christmas Golf Cart Parade.
Residents dressed their golf carts up with lights and decorations and drove through the neighborhood passing out candy and small toys to the crowd. According to Libby Trautman, who is both director and secretary of the HOA board, the parade is the brain child of social committee chair Wendy Cook and the 2016 event was the largest in the eight years since its inception, with 40 carts decked out. “This event kicks off the season and gets everyone in the holiday spirit,” said Trautman. River Hills is a gated community off Lithia Pinecrest Rd. with 1,162 homes. For information, contact the River Hills HOA at 662-0837.

Cruise into the FishHawk Market

This month’s FishHawk Market is taking place on Sunday, January 8 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Park Square. In addition to the variety of vendors with popular items such as fresh vegetables, fruits, domestic and imported cheeses, breads, baked goods, jams, jellies, herbs, honey, jewelry, home decor and more, there will also be a car show in the Park Square over flow parking area. If you are interested in registering a car, please sign up at the Osprey Club which is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday Noon-5 p.m. All makes and models are invited to participate and awards for “Best of Show” will be presented. The preregistration cost is $5 per vehicle or $10 the day of the show (cash or check only). This is a free event for spectators which will include music by DJ Joe Ferranta and a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will benefit the Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America. Contact the Resident Services at 657-6629. The Car Show will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Registration Open for FishHawk Ranch Chili Cook-Off

Who doesn’t love garden-fresh, homemade, mouth-watering chili? Whether you love to cook it or love to eat it, there are two ways to play at the 11th Annual FishHawk Ranch Chili Cook-Off taking place Saturday, February 25 from 12-2 p.m. There is no fee to enter chili which will be tasted by fans from throughout the community. Three prizes will be awarded in each of the two categories. For a $5 fee, residents receive a spoon, tasting cup and one vote to determine the chili champs. Contact Susan Parvin at 657-6629 or email

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.