Florida State Fair opens its gates

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – An annual Florida tradition kicks off Thursday morning at 10 a.m. The 112th Florida State Fair is scheduled for February 4th – 15th at the Florida State Fairgrounds located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa.

Organizers hope year’s theme, “So Much More to Explore,” reminds fair-goers that the event isn’t just about one thing. There are endless activities to discover and enjoy including rides, food, exhibits, entertainment, and agriculture.

The White House Experience at the Florida State Fair (Photo: WFLA)
The White House Experience at the Florida State Fair (Photo: WFLA)

You can even take a selfie in the Oval Office. The White House Experience has authentic presidential memorabilia. Participants get a front row seat to a state dinner.

“Years ago, 100 percent of the people were patriotic,” historian John Zweifel said. “What I am trying to do is instill in people the beauty and the love for America we have.”

This year, music lovers will gather for headliner concerts by 1960s sensation Gary Puckett, up-and-coming country singer Colt Ford, jazz and blues artist Robert Cray, and Dove Award-winning group Tenth Avenue North.

Other concerts include the harmonies of Matt’s Family Jam and Indie artist Aranda. Lazy Bonez, an ‘80s tribute band, is back for their second Florida State Fair, along with Beatlemania Live. The always-popular Elvis Extravaganza and Fair favorite Dennis Lee will be back to please fans.

The 2016 Florida State Fair is open Feb. 4-15. (Photo: WFLA)
The 2016 Florida State Fair is open Feb. 4-15. (Photo: WFLA)

Some of the concerts have a new home on the Coca Cola Headline Music Stage located in the Equestrian Center. Other artists will perform on the Tampa Bay Times or Sleep Number Stages.

One of the most popular Fair concerts, Country Gold, returns to the Entertainment Hall on Feb. 9th and 10th. Tickets for this concert are always a sell-out and can be purchased online at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Prices are $20 for reserved floor seating and $10 for general admission.

This year, fair-goers once again will vote for the People’s Choice Burger from a selection of new and returning burger favorites. Daredevils won’t want to miss a ride on the Super Cyclone Roller Coaster, just one of the new attractions on the Florida State Fair Midway.

“There is truly something for everyone at the Florida State Fair,” said Charles C. Pesano, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “This is a great year to explore all there is to offer, while having fun on a budget.”

Admission tickets and armbands are on sale now at www.FloridaStateFair.com or at Walgreens locations throughout the state.

 

AT-A-GLANCE

• When: February 4 – 15, 2016
• Where: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa
State Fair hours & directions can be found here.
• Parking: FREE
• $7 for seniors and must be used Feb. 8-12.
• $9 for adults.
• $5 for children ages 6 to 11.
• Children five years and under are FREE.
• Weekday Ride armbands – $20 for unlimited rides (Valid only on Feb. 4 and Feb. 8-11).
• Any Day Ride armbands – $30 for unlimited rides (Valid during all Midway hours).
• Ticket Purchase: Available at all Walgreens stores through Feb. 3. Also available through the Fair box office, website, mail or fax: Call 1-800-345-FAIR (3247).
• Tickets for the Country Gold concerts held February 9 and 10 can only be purchased through the Florida State Fair Authority. Shows will be at 2 p.m. Other promotional discounts occur throughout the Fair on admission and ride armbands. Go to www.FloridaStateFair.com for details.

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