The Florida State Fair is an annual celebration held at the Florida State Fairgrounds close to Tampa. It is the state’s official fair and includes both outdoor and indoor exhibits, special shows, and rides. Although there are activities and things to do for all ages and interests, the Florida State Fair Tampa Florida traditionally uses the fair as an avenue to celebrate and feature the state’s agricultural enterprises. This state fair is also known for highlighting some of the strangest food combinations, such as bacon covered in chocolate, as well as an array of tournaments and competitions over an eleven-day period.
Florida State Fair History and Facts
Florida State Fair Tampa Florida events have taken place annually since 1904, executed by the South Florida Fair Association, created specifically to handle all related fair tasks. Originally inaugurated as the South Florida Fair, the fair went on to take the name Mid-Winter Festival not long after, and then finally, in 1915, Florida State Fair was settled upon. The Florida State Fair Authority was assembled in 1975 to further specific efforts of a solid fair team, and the venue was officially changed to Tampa. It wasn’t until 1977 that the Florida State Fair Tampa Florida location permanently made home the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Some of the best events at the Florida State Fair include a rodeo and a live shark tank. Traditionally, there are dozens of tournaments and competitions in livestock, fine arts, and agricultural competitions. The fair also features events and exhibits at venues outside of the fairgrounds include historic reenactments of frontier Florida at Cracker County and equestrian races and events at Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.
Tickets to Florida State Fair
Tickets to the Florida State Fair 2016 can be purchased in advance at select locations announced prior to opening day, which saves several dollars off admission rates at the gate. Upon arriving without tickets, entry via the Orient Road Entrance and continue to the Fair Box Office to pick up tickets anytime between Monday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Purchase a Pepsi Armband in advance for select days in February and receive unlimited access to rides. Each ride requires either an armband or a pre-determined number of individual tickets. Some rides only accept tickets.
Directions to Florida State Fair
Directions to the Florida State Fair from Clearwater/St. Petersburg or Tampa by I-275 to Eastbound I-4:
For Entrance Gate off U.S. Hwy. 301: Take I-275 North. Continue to Orlando via I-4 and merge at Exit 45B/I-4 East. Take US Hwy 301 South (Exit #7) and continue in the right lane southbound for just under a mile. At the Fairgrounds entryway, make a right.
Entrance Gate off Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.: Take the I-275 northbound to Orlando/I-4 and merge into Exit 45B/I-4 East. Continue to SR-574 West/ Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Via Exit #5 and take a right off the ramp. Pass Orient Road traffic lights and enter to the left.
Entrance Gate off Orient Road: Take I-4 Eastbound, then Exit #6 at Orient Road and then off the ramp to the right. Watch for the entrance sign on the left and enter at the Security Gate.
Lodging near Florida State Fair
Within Tampa there are dozens of choices for lodging near Florida State Fair 2016 and near the best city attractions. A few of the top hotels in Tampa include Saddlebrook Resort, the hard Rock Hotel, and Westin Harbour Island there some of the best views come into play. Some of the closest Tampa hotels include Crowne Plaza Hotel Tampa East and The Hilton Garden Inn Tampa East.
Image: me_ram (flickr)