If you go:
What: Collier County Fair
When: Thursday, Feb. 5 starting at 6 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 15.
Where: Collier County Fairgrounds on Immokalee Rd., 10 miles east of I-75.
Admission: $8 for 12 and older, $4 for ages 6-11 and free for 5-year-olds and younger. $20 for Megapass and $5 for parking
Info: (239) 455-1444 or www.colliercountyfair.com
$25,000 scholarship available for one high school student
One Collier County high school student will receive a $25,000 college scholarship just for going to the Collier County Fair.
WHO QUALIFIES? Any active Collier County public, private, or home-schooled high school student (grades 9-12.)
HOW DOES IT WORK? Purchase an $8 admission ticket at the fair on Friday and you’ll get a two-part ticket. High school students should enter the drawing right then. Family and friends can give the ticket to a high school student of their choice. The more tickets the high school student has, the better the student’s chance.
THE DRAWING. Friday night, 15 tickets will be drawn by a committee of fair board members. The numbers will be posted at the Collier County Fair Grounds and at www.colliercountyfair.com. Students with selected tickets must contact the fair office (455-1444) before 9 p.m., Monday, Feb. 9, and let officials know that they have one of the qualifying tickets. The final drawing will be held Wednesday, Feb. 11, on the main stage at the fairgrounds at 8 p.m.
THE FINE PRINT. Students must show proof of registration in a Collier County public, private, or home school program at the time of the drawing. Tickets will be drawn in a reverse raffle format. The last ticket drawn will be the winner of the $25,000 scholarship. Students must be present to win.
THE PAYOUT. Funds will be held in an escrow account until the student completes high school and enrolls in an accredited university, college, community college, post-secondary technical school or specialized post secondary training school. Money will be issued directly to the institution of higher learning. The scholarship recipient must be enrolled and attending school in order to access the funds.
LAST YEAR’S WINNER. Last year, Nicole Groll of Naples won the scholarship. She’s now attending the University of South Florida.
NAPLES — The familiar smells of funnel cake and livestock will still be there, but this year something else will be wafting through the Collier County Fairgrounds.
Love will be in the air.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 23 Southwest Florida couples had decided to take the plunge and enter a contest to win a free Valentine’s Day Wedding on the midway at the Collier County Fair on Feb. 14.
Twenty winning couples will take a ride on the fair’s giant Ferris wheel before disembarking and taking their vows at its base.
Then, they will be escorted to a reception area where traditional carnival food will be served, along with wedding cake, said Justin Tyler, spokesman for the radio stations sponsoring the event, Gator Country 101.9 and Mix 104.7 FM.
One of the couples will win a grand prize honeymoon to Sandals Resort in Jamaica.
“It’s a way to help people who want to get married but maybe can’t afford a wedding right now,” said Tyler. “That’s been the general gist of the entries we’ve gotten so far.”
The weddings will highlight the fair’s Valentine-themed final weekend.
The Miss Collier County Fair Sweetheart Contest will be held Saturday, Feb. 14, and on the following Sunday couples and groups will compete in the Collier County Dance Contest.
But you don’t have to be looking for love, or wait until Valentine’s Day, to enjoy the 33rd annual fair, which opens Thursday evening at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Collier County Fairgrounds on Immokalee Road.
The attractions and entertainers at this year’s event should appeal to a wider audience, said spokesperson Rhonda Ward.
“This year we made a point to go out and find more diverse entertainment,” she said. “We’ve made sure there is something for everyone.” The official theme for the 11-day event is “Hollywood,” she said.
Between 60,000 and 65,000 are expected to attend.
The fair’s Family Living Tent will feature a faux Hollywood Walk of Fame. There will also be a mockup of Marilyn Monroe’s dressing room with cutout figures of Monroe and other film icons, such as John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.
A video screen will run commercials first seen in movie theaters in the 1960s, while kids will enjoy seeing a “Pirates of the Caribbean” set.
In addition to the expected smorgasbord of rides, carnival food, arts, crafts, livestock and educational booths, the fair will hold it’s first bull riding rodeo on Feb. 15, plus feature new acts, such as the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show.
World champion competitive lumberjacks compete in sawing, log rolling and chopping contests and display hardy skills like tree climbing, chainsaw carving and ax throwing.
The Bunyan show, the rodeo and this Saturday night’s demolition derby might be the fair’s most rambunctious attractions, but there will be other highlights:
■ Terrance B. uses comedy and hypnotism in a fast-paced show that relies on audience participation. Amazingly, his sidekick HypnoDog also hypnotizes audience members.
■ Cowboy Mike Woolridge is a trick roping, whip-cracking storyteller in the tradition of Will Rogers. He also plays the mountain dulcimer.
■ Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary offers a mix of education and entertainment in their popular big cats show.
■ Musical acts include Canadian acoustic folk duo The Laws and old time fiddlers Ed and Geraldine. Local groups performing include Jay Frost and 3 Below, the Paradise Coastmen Chorus, and Frontline Bluegrass.
“We’ve got such a selection this year, so many things on different days, we think people are going to want to come back for more days than one,” Ward said.