By LOIS KINDLE
Want to spice things up a bit and do something to help others at the same time?
Good Samaritan, formerly known as Good Samaritan Mission, will give you that opportunity from noon to 3 p.m. March 23 at its 7th annual Salsa Fest. This year’s indoor/outdoor event will take place at Redeemer Church, 12404 Boyette Road, Riverview, and folks of all ages are invited.
“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there,” said the Rev. Bill Cruz, executive director of Good Samaritan. “Parking and admission are free, and there will lots of fun things to do for the entire family.”
You can bring along the kids and have some fun yourself, while they’re doing their thing at the Lil’ Peppers children’s area. It will feature a bouncy house, super slide, carnival games and kids crafts, including four different make-and-takes. A Hillsborough County Fire Rescue truck, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office VW Beetle and Nozzle Nose the elephant will be on hand.
The star of the fundraiser, of course, will be the salsa, which will be prepared by a variety of salsa cooks serving up their personal favorites. For $5, you get to taste them all and help decide who gets the People’s Choice (aka Fan Favorite) Award. The tasting begins at noon. The winners will be announced at 2:45 p.m.
This year’s panel of judges will include Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bob Ura, Cruz and former local food columnist and blogger Lynn Kessel. The trio will pick the Judge’s Choice Award winner.
There’s still time to enter your own award-winning salsa and walk away with a trophy, bragging rights and a prize. Entry is free. All you need to do is prepare 3 gallons of salsa and arrive at 10:30 a.m. A table, tasting cups and chips will be provided.
More than 40 vendors will also take part, offering items like handmade crafts, food, jewelry, artwork and more. The Gringo Grille, C&J Specialty and Kona Ice will sell food.
The Salsa Fest will feature live entertainment, a 50/50 raffle and lots of other raffle prizes, including children’s bicycles and helmets, a Salt Life basket valued at $300, children’s gift baskets, fine artwork, a gift-card tree and other items.
Tickets are one for $1, six for $5 and an arms-length for $20.
All proceeds will benefit Good Samaritan, 767 Cortaro Drive, Sun City Center. For information, call 813-634-7136.
An afternoon of fun and fellowship
Good Samaritan will also host a Ladies Tea and Fashion Show from noon to 2:30 p.m. April 13 at the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce Events Hall, 1651 Sun City Center Plaza. Bring your favorite tea cup and saucer, and come learn more about what this nonprofit organization does.
The fashion show will be presented by ladies from the Good Samaritan’s beginning and intermediate sewing classes.
Food will be served.
Tickets are 2 for $40 or 4 for $75. They can be purchased online at www.gsmission.org or by phone at 813-634-7136.