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Carnival & Fair News
Carnival & Fair News
Pasco County Fair -- Jam Packed with Entertainment
Monday, April 2, 2018
  • Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
  • Rides 4U - New & Used Rides

The 2018 Pasco County Fair "Jam Packed With Excitement," had all new entertainment for fairgoers and celebrated a 71st birthday. Tracy Thomposon, Annual Fair Chairman, is very happy with the results of the 2018 fair and looks forward to taking some time off before getting back to work planning the 2019 fair. 

"Attendance at the 2018 fair was a little less than last year but the midway held their own," says Thompson. About 43,482 people came to the 2018 Pasco County Fair. 

Some of the new entertainment this year included the Fearless Flores Thrill Show, Josh Knott's Extreme Illusions and Escapes, Dan Dan the Farmer Man, and Sylvia Fletcher the comedy ventriloquist. The fair also featured some strolling acts: The Living Tree of Life (out of California) and Danny Grant's Cowboy Circus. The Robinson's Racing Pigs Show also entertained crowds at the fair, "they're the only act we brought back," says Thompson. Another new act this year was Predatory Iron Works blacksmithing demonstrations. Trenton Tye from "Forged in Fire" on the History channel performed the demonstrations. 

Saturday and Sunday of the fair Abby the Spoon Lady and Chris Rodriguez, Youtube sensations, were the featured entertainment. "Abby is a Youtube star with over 6.8 million hits. She plays the spoons. We had people who travelled over 250 miles to see them," says Thompson. 

Additional stage entertainment included Wednesday night bluegrass, Thursday night gospel music, a beauty pageant on Monday, a karaoke contest Saturday night and a talent show. The top winner of the talent show in each age group won $100. There were lots of great competitors and one of the winners is currently competing on this season of American Idol, according to Thompson. 

The 2018 Pasco County Fair also had two PRCA sanctioned rodeo presentations Friday night and Saturday afternoon. It was very popular with fairgoers and the rodeo drew contestants from all over the Southeast to compete. A different kind of rodeo, Ranch Rodeo, was featured Saturday night. I twas the first time the Pasco County Fair booked the Ranch Rodeo; "It was something new for us but definitely something we'll do again," says Thompson. 

All the entertainment was included with admission to the fair. Adult admission was $10 and kids 12 and under were $5. The Pasco County Fair sold online advance sale tickets for the first time this year. One of the admission specials featured the advance sale. On Tuesday night of the fair, anyone could bring a friend for half price when they used their advance sale ticket. Sunday was kids day at the fair during which children's admission was buy one get one free. 

Wade Shows is the midway provider for the Pasco County Fair. They brought around 32 rides and the ride gross was consistent with 2017's numbers. Unlimited ride wristbands were available for purchase each day of the fair. 

The food portion of the Pasco County Fair was just as jam packed as the entertainment, according to Thompson. A local vendor started selling fried alligator this year and sold out at his stand every single night of the fair. A crowd favorite, the cinnamon roll stand, returned much to fairgoers delight. Whirley Drink Works created a 2018 Pasco County Fair souvenir cup which the fair sold to independent food vendors. Thompson was pleased to report that they completely sold out of the souvenir cups at the end of the fair. The design on the cup featured a 1947 Ford Truck; the bed of the truck was filled with various items you'd see at a fair.

The Pasco County Fair uses most of the traditional advertising mediums but made a few tweaks with this year's budget. Local newspapers, social media, local cable, and network tv: Fox in the Tampa market, are all part of the $36,000 advertising budget. For the first time this year, the fair was featured on something called "Local Face," which advertises local business on televisions in local restaurants. "We didn't do any radio advertising this year and decided to concentrate more on television. We do really well with stores in local free papers, people around here like to read the paper," says Thompson. Next year, the fair is planning to look at advertising on billboards. 

This year, the Pasco County Fair turned 71. Thompson and the rest of the fair team brought back the fair parade this year after its first time absence at the 2017 fair. The Grand Marshall of the parade was the host of the local Fox morning show. "We got a lot of praise for bringing the parade back this year and it will happen next year too in downtown Dade City," says Thompson. He was even able to find a 1957 Ford truck to be in the parade commemorating the design on the souvenir cup. 

The Pasco County Fair is a non-profit fair run by 30 volunteer directors along with a host of volunteers who help the event run smoothly. The only paid employees at the fair are the secretary and the part-time maintenance man. The non-profit organization owns the fairgrounds, making the secretary and maintenance man necessary for maintaining the facilities year-round. "We survive in the off season by renting out our auditorium for various events," says Thompson. 

Thompson has been serving the Pasco County Fair in some capacity since 1992, but this is his 1st year in the Fair Chairman position. The fair organization will elect new officers in April and Thompson is hoping to continue in his new position. "I've made a lot of great friends in this industry over the years and I really love doing it. It's a volunteer job and takes up a lot of time so my family doesn't quite get it but I love it," says Thompson. 

Members of the Pasco County Fair Board will attend the Florida Federation of Fairs convention in May. Thompson says he looks forward to learning new things about the industry as well as seeing and booking some new entertainment for the 2019 fair.



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