The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show and Osceola County Fair is back in town, celebrating 75 Years! This year grab your boots, put your bling on, and attend this 10-day event that runs through February 17th at the Osceola Heritage Park! If you’ve never experienced this event before here’s some history behind this beloved tradition and a list of what you can expect.
In the early 1940s the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show started informally and was known as the Kissimmee Valley Range Cattle Show. After being postponed during the war years, this popular event came to life for good in 1944. The first Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show was held downtown Kissimmee by the old Autrey Motors, a Ford Dealership. The name and scope changed to the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show and Fair in 1951. Frank Poffenbaugh became the first president of the organization and twenty of Osceola County’s leading citizens set their signatures to the articles of incorporation.
Over the past 75 years, positive changes have been made including moving the event to the Osceola Heritage Park in 2002. The 2003 Osceola County Fair was the first Fair held at the new facility. This event draws visitors from out of town and local residents, all excited to partake in the festivities of the livestock shows and the fair.
This Event will feature livestock shows and youth exhibits, live entertainment, carnival food, and rides.
“There is nowhere else in Central Florida that you can feel the nostalgia of a real county fair other than right here in Osceola County. There is a real sense of community here. Many of our volunteers and exhibitors are third and fourth generation, their families were the founding members of the organization. As a Fair, it is our duty and responsibly to preserve the agricultural, historical and cultural legacy of Osceola County and at the same time support and give back to our community through scholarships and awards,” says Stacey Wade, CFE, Director of Special Events and Education.
The James E. Strates Shows will once again operate more than 70 rides, games, and shows with their headquartered in Orlando and just a few miles from the fairgrounds, the James E. Strates Shows celebrates 95 years in the carnival business, making this partnership with the Osceola County Fair even more of a community celebration.
Round up the kiddos because this weekend is Kids Weekends with ride specials and special appearances by Max Power & Nitro, the nine-foot-tall robot that is a walking, talking dance party that is accompanied by his monster truck Nitro; Priscilla the Dinosaur, the life-size, like-like dino makes a return visit this year to meet and mingle with guests. The Magik Cirques makes its debut at the Osceola County Fair, a Magical, Comical and Amazical Variety Show that is fun for the whole family.
The Fair opened The HAYLOFT (Helping All Youth Learn of Farming and Technology) last year; and 11,000 square foot interactive, hands-on agricultural education exhibit where young guests can milk a cow, brush a lamb, pick oranges, gather eggs, compete in the pony races (on pony cycles) and even navigate their way through the hay maze on peddle tractors. The HAYLOFT was such a huge hit last year; the organizers have expanded the exhibit to include a farmer’s market, a garden, a pig pen, and a water conservation station.
Mark your calendar for these popular events this coming week:
Monday, February 11th – Carload Night
Wednesday, February 13th – STEM Night hosted by Osceola County Schools
Thursday, February 14th – Concert by Williams & Ree, presented by Country Thunder
Friday, February 15th – KUA Student Day. All K-12 students receive free admission to the Fair before 5 p.m.
The second weekend is filled with exciting entertainment and events as well; legendary country music artist Marty Brown will take the stage Friday, February 15th and Saturday, February 16th; the Miss Osceola Pageant will be held Saturday, February 16th at 7:00 pm. Up and coming artist Angie Keilhauer will perform Saturday and Sunday.
The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show and Osceola County Fair is one tradition you will want to share with family and friends. Help us celebrate 75 Years by creating more memories that will last a lifetime! For more information visit https://www.osceolacountyfair.com.