Tropical Park, Kendall’s biggest recreation area stretching over 275 acres off Bird Road and the Palmetto Expressway, enjoyed one of its busiest weekends of the year, Apr. 11-13.
A collective three-day crowd estimated at 60,000 attended activities at the newly expanded Ronald Reagan Equestrian Complex for the Seventh Annual “Miami International Agriculture, Horse & Cattle Show,” three days of equestrian and livestock auctions combined with community group performances ranging from a high school rock band to medieval jousting by costumed knights in armor.
Admission, activities and parking were all free with receipts from event revenues going to the non-profit South Florida Autism Charter School.
For his efforts in founding the show and spearheading the international development for horse and cattle breeders, Miami- Dade Commissioner Javier D. Souto was honored with a plaque for his “hard work and dedication” that has expanded the Miami-Dade show to include participation by 24 countries since 2008.
Equal honors were accorded Dr. Robert Parajon, best known as the “Ambassadorat- Large” for the Agri-business trade show over two decades. More than a dozen family members, led by Luis Parajon, Wilke and Dinorha Perez, helped unveil a new street sign bearing Dr. Robert Parajon’s name for the Equestrian Center entry road as a memorial to the late veterinarian’s contributions during a lifetime of caring for animals.
Capping the weekend was the announcement of a $3.4 million plan to install padded artificial turf for the 6,000-seat Memorial Stadium field where area high school teams have clashed in muddy marathons during decades of rainy night football games.
The improvements will include new track surfacing aimed at hosting headline track events like the Junior Olympics and USA National Track and Field Championship.
Accepting honors from Commission chair Rebeca Sosa and fellow-Commissioner Dennis Moss, Souto said, “The Agr- Business show alone has put Miami-Dade on breeder maps worldwide for producers and purebred cattle exhibitors.”
Added Parks director Jack Kardys, “There is no event like this in Miami-Dade County. We are truly fortunate to host an event of this caliber in our parks system.”