New to the Hillsborough County Fair this year is the Rain Barrel Decorating Contest presented by the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District and open to youth groups throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Driven by the theme, "Enriching the Environment," this year's inaugural contest falls under the HSWCD's Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge, an annual showcase of "Action Awareness Projects" that cover a wide range of efforts, including waterway cleanups, road debris pick-ups, recycling efforts, community gardening, pollinator and tree plantings and more. Launched in 2016, the Hillsborough 100 initiative is open to individuals and groups, including schools, civic organizations, service clubs, businesses, nonprofits and more.
The Rain Barrel Decorating Contest sheds light on rainwater harvesting, an initiative promoted as well by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension in Seffner. Contest entrants must complete the Hillsborough County Extension Service Rainwater Harvesting Workshop available in three delivery options: Zoom meeting, PowerPoint presentation or live meeting. To register, call: Lynn Barber, Florida Friendly Extension Agent, 813-744-5519, Ext. 54105.
Competition is limited to the first 15 group entrants. Each entrant will receive a free, food-grade plastic barrel to decorate. Cash prizes will be awarded for first place ($200), second place ($100), third place ($50) and honorable mention ($25). Award-winning barrels will be sold by silent auction during the fair. Sale proceeds for each barrel will be paid directly to the group that creates it. Judging will take place prior to the fair's opening. Rain barrels will be judged based on functionality, creativity, use of materials and interpretation of theme.
The Hillsborough County Fair is scheduled to run from Sept. 23-26 and from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. The fair is at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Dover, at 215 Sydney Washer Road.
For more on contest contacts, details and entry considerations, download the items below.