The Hillsborough County Fair will be in town Wednesday-Sunday, October 12-17, offering fun activities such as a midway and the Hale Bay decorating contest sponsored by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Hillsborough County Fair Seeking Applicants For Harvest Awards

The Hillsborough County Fair is seeking nominations for this year’s Harvest Awards which will kick off the 2017 County Fair on Thursday, October 19 in the new air-conditioned fairgrounds pavilion east of Brandon on Hwy. 60 and Sydney Washer Rd. This is the 17th year the awards have been presented to the outstanding Farm Family and the Lifetime Achievement recipients for outstanding accomplishments and contributions in the field of agriculture in Hillsborough County. Other categories include Outstanding Agribusiness, Outstanding Public & Community Service, Urban Agriculture/Agriculturist, Young Farmer/Rancher/Nurseryman who are 40 and under, and Outstanding Woman in Agriculture. A posthumous category is also available to honor an individual no longer living.

A total of five awards will be given during the luncheon in October. Receiving last year’s awards were the Roy Davis family, Tony Ippolito, Susan Dumke, Wish Farms, Lee and Mini Holcomb, and the Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation. Saturday, July 1 is the submission deadline for nominations. Nomination forms are available at the County Extension Office, the Farm Bureau Office, Soil Conservation Office, Strawberry Growers Assoc. Office, and at

Forms can be submitted by email:

or mailed to:
Harvest Awards, c/o Hillsborough County Fair
P.O. Box 100
Sydney, FL 33587

Call 737-3247.

Hillsborough Aims To Feed More Hungry Kids This Summer

Hunger doesn’t take the summer off. Neither do efforts to get food to the children who need it. Hillsborough County is once again participating in the Summer Food Service Program, which provides free nutritious lunches and afternoon snacks to children at more than 50 sites throughout the county. In an effort to make sure no child goes without a meal, this year’s program has been lengthened by eight days, from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, August 4.

The Summer Food Service Program will provide a balanced meal during summer vacation when school meals are not available. The meals and snacks will be offered at local parks and other community locations to children under 18. Applications are not required. Nearby approved sites can be found online, or for more information, email or call 276-8625.

Also new this year: More “grab and go” meals that are ready to eat but also healthy.
Tasty Venues Offers Culinary Journeys In Cooking And Home Décor And Food Products
Tasty Venues recently opened at 951 E. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Owners Cinzia and Mark Cripe, along with Debora Felton and Susan Hastings, opened the café to offer food exploration classes that will take guests on culinary journeys throughout the world’s finest cuisines.

It was established to share beautiful food and beautiful goods related to food in recognition of the connections are created around a shared table. The owners invite the community to join them in a delicious journey of culinary exploration.

You will be delighted as you watch a masterful chef prepare a meal in front of you and be inspired when you engage in cooking with the Chef.

The café offers lunch Monday through Friday.

Tasty Venues also offers home décor and gifts, books, imported luxury foods and teas from around the world, plus everything to make entertaining lovely and easy.

The hours are Monday to Wedesday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Call 381-4999. Visit

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.