This year’s Florida State Fair runs February 6 - 17, 2014, and it's expected to attract over half a million visitors to Tampa. Steeped in tradition and history, this annual event is exactly what a state fair should be.
The midway is lined with brightly-lit thrill rides competing with slightly sketchy side-shows and the latest yummy-but-bad-for-you food concoctions. Next to the midway is the real fair, with acres of exhibition halls and an equestrian center displaying the best Florida has to offer from agriculture to artistry. Experience livestock shows and pie baking contest, draft horse pulls and craft displays.
The Florida State Fair midway offers every type of deep-fried food possible — Photo courtesy of Kthypryn
The Florida State Fair's midway is billed as the largest independent midway in North America, so there is lots of fun to be had just strolling down it. The 114 rides include a few nail-biters such as Comet - a massive traveling roller coaster - along with more sedate options such as the ever-nostalgic Ferris wheel. Side-shows this year include sword swallowing and fire eating, or you can check out the FMX Motorcycle Thrill Zone.
When you get hungry, you can search among the many vendors to find just what you’re craving. Perhaps some deep-fried mashed potatoes and gravy? Or straight to dessert with a sticky cotton candy funnel cake?
The midway is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to explore! Make sure to check out some of the entertainment options that come with your admission. Concerts at this year’s fair include well-known acts America, Country Gold, Sister Hazel and Uncle Kracker. All except Country Gold are included with the price of admission.
Take the kids to touch the animals at the exotic petting zoo or watch the racing pigs. Be amazed by the bravery displayed at the Kachunga & The Alligator Show, or the skills demonstrated in the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show.
Don’t forget to save time to visit the exhibit halls and the equestrian center. Here you’ll be able to view the winners of the Florida Arts & Craft Show. Prepare to be amazed by the skill and artistry of the people of Florida.
Visit the animals or attend one of the many horse, dog, rabbit and goat shows that take place throughout the fair. As an added bonus, Cracker Country - a Florida living history museum - is open during the fair and is located on the grounds. Step back in time to see what life was like in Florida over 100 years ago at no extra cost.
For more information and to find event schedules and discount tickets for the 2014 fair, visit the Florida State Fair website.