Florida State Fair
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The 120th Annual Florida State Fair returns to the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa February 8-19, 2024 and we can’t wait! While the fair food often grabs the headlines, it’s so much more than that, friends.

In fact, it’s safe to say there is something for everyone whether you are a thrill seeker, animal lover, live music fan, foodie…you name it, the Fair has something for you. Oh, and did we mention there’s a beer garden too?

Let’s put it this way–there are more than 150 live entertainment options during the 12-day event, making it the ultimate date night experience (or day date!). So, let’s dive into all the Fair Fun in store for you in 2024!

Our media partners at Tampa Bay Parenting are also sharing their favorite things to do with kids at the Florida State Fair!

But, first…Fair ticket prices and ways to save

Considering what you get, the Fair is a great deal with a weekday ticket starting at just $12 for adults. Your ticket includes access to live concerts, entertainment, animals, and more.

Ticket prices will vary depending on the day you go. The ticket starting price of $12 is for entry Monday through Thursday and then it’s $16 Friday through Sunday (still a bargain when you think about all that’s included).

One great way to save is by taking advantage of ticket discounts by purchasing at your local Wawa store through February 9. You can see a list of all participating Wawa stores here.

More Ways to Save with Fair Promo Days!

  • Heroes’ Day, Thursday, February 8: Free admission for law enforcement, first responders, and military and veterans with valid ID. 
  • Super Savings Sunday, Feb 11: Free admission for law enforcement, first responders, active-duty military, and veterans all day. Also, free admission with the purchase of Any Day Ride Armband after 3 pm. 
  • Senior Days: Any weekday during the fair. $11 admission for seniors 55+ 
  • $3 Thursday, February 15. $3 admission and select rides, games, and food items after 3 pm. 
  • Family Day: Friday, February 16. Free admission for kids 17 and younger with a paid adult until 6 pm. 
  • Kids’ Day: Monday, February 19: Free admission for kids 17 and younger with a paid adult until 6 pm.

You can pre-purchase your tickets at floridastatefair.com. Parking at the Florida State Fair is FREE!

Florida State Fair Hours

The Florida State Fair will be celebrated daily from February 8 through 19, 2024. Hours vary depending on the day of the week.

  • Monday-Thursday: 11 am- 9 pm (Midway opens at 1 pm)
  • Friday-Sunday and Presidents Day Weekend 10 am-9 pm (Midway opens at 10:30 am)

What’s NEW at the Florida State Fair

While there are new entertainment options this year, one of the sweetest new additions is the Florida State Fair’s new mascot, Sunny! He’ll be available for photos throughout the Fair, so keep that camera handy!

Meet Sunny, the Florida State Fair's new mascot!
Meet Sunny, the Florida State Fair’s new mascot!

But, that’s not all. Here are more exciting new additions in 2024:

  • Silent Disco: Choose your own musical adventure at the Silent Disco which is included with admission! You’ll find it near the giant Ferris wheel on February 9 and 10 only.
  • Fireworks: The sky above the Florida State Fairgrounds will illuminate on four select nights: February 9 & 10 and 17 & 18.
  • Tigirlily Gold: Listen to the talented sisters as they take the stage with their blend of country-pop at the Grove at 7 pm on Saturday, February 10. This headline concert is included with Fair admission.
  • Secret Walls: The Ultimate Live Paint Battles Experience: Watch as a team of artists create murals in under 90 minutes using only black paint. Catch this artistic performance February 8-10 at 7 pm in the Entertainment Hall.
  • Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation Photography Exhibit: Over in the Florida Forest Discovery Center, you can walk through beautiful photographs showcasing the animals and fauna that call our Florida wildlife corridors home.

First Friday Grove Party: February 9 from 6 pm-9 pm

You won’t want to miss the First Friday Grove Party on February 9! You can head over to The Grove where Keel Farms will be unveiling its Churro Hard Cider created just for the Florida State Fair. They will also be offering samples along with drink specials. The party will also feature hourly giveaways, a pop-up market, live entertainment, and more!

The Grove is right near the entrance of Gate 3, so this could be a great place to park if you plan to attend!

Silent Disco is also being offered on Friday, February 9 along with fireworks, so the First Friday Grove Party is a must-do! AND, it’s included with admission.

The Entertainment

With more than 150 live entertainment options, it’ll be a breeze to map out a curated date night that fits YOU! In addition to the daily live concerts, you can also expect shows like:

  • Circus Hollywood: This live circus features 7 revolving acts with acrobats, trapeze, and animals!
  • Wall of Death: Watch as daredevil motorcyclists ride inside silo-shaped wooden dromes.
  • Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show: You’ll be amazed as you watch the hilarious lumberjacks perform with real chainsaws during this old-fashioned, family-friendly show!
  • Aqua Rock by Bello Nock: Head to the Center Lake to see this thrilling water show as the performer straps on jet-powered water shoes and soars like you’ve never seen before!
  • Lawn Mower Races: Yes, there is such a thing as the National Lawn Mower Racing Group and this is your chance to see them in action!

This is just a small portion of what you’ll experience at this year’s Florida State Fair, but it gives you a good idea of the wide variety of live shows and concerts you can experience. Most shows are offered daily, so be sure to check out the Florida State Fair Daily Guide here.

The Animals

The animals are one of our favorite experiences at the Fair because there are so many different opportunities and experiences! Where else can you watch racing pigs, feed a goat, meet a newborn calf,

Here are a few animal shows and experiences to look forward to in 2024:

Sea Lion Splash at the Florida State Fair
Sea Lion Splash
  • Sea Lion Splash: The sea lions are always a hit and they’ll be back at it this year! You’ll find their stage outside, across from the Entertainment Hall. They will perform daily at 1 pm, 3:30 pm, and 6:30 pm.
  • The Rainforest Experience: This is something we are looking forward to–it’s a chance to see unique animals including the sloth during this educational experience. You’ll find it over in the Mall area, on the 5 Points Stage behind the giant slide and Ferris wheel area.
  • Hollywood Racing Pigs: This is always a fan favorite and you can catch the racing pigs daily at 11:15 am, 1:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:00 pm. They are also in The Mall area across from the Circus Hollywood Tent.
  • Petting Zoo: You can’t go to the Fair and not stop by the Hands-On Petting Zoo in the Salute to Ag area! For a small fee, you can also purchase food to feed the animals. And no, you do not have to be a kid to participate!
  • Insect Encounter: Okay, so bugs aren’t really animals, but this is still a pretty cool exhibit to check out. Bugs may be creepy, but you’ll learn they’re actually pretty amazing, too. You’ll find Insect Encounter in the red barn

Again, this is only a glimpse of the animals you can experience at the Fair. There are even chances to ride a camel, support local kids as they perform in ag shows, walk through the livestock barns, and more!

The Fair is also a unique opportunity to learn about our state’s agriculture and livestock industry. There’s a cool Time Travel Through Florida’s Agriculture History Hologram Show offered every thirty minutes in the Ag Hall of Fame building.

This is also where you can meet a local farmer at the Thank a Farmer Experience from 3 pm-5 pm daily.

The Rides at the Fair

Did you know the Midway at the Florida State Fair is one of the largest in the country? Pretty cool, right? We’ve counted 84 rides so far on the ride line-up ranging from a more calm experience on the Ferris wheel and Sky Ride, to something more thrilling like a roller coaster!

Florida State Fair rides

Your best bet is to purchase an armband ahead of time if you plan to go on more than a few rides. Keep in mind, armbands do not include admission, so make sure to snag your ticket too! There are also options to buy tickets in the Midway if you only want to go on a couple of rides.

Advance Purchase Ride Armband Options:

  • Advance Anyday Armband: $32 for one day only
  • Advance Weekday Armand: $22 (Monday-Thursday)
  • Advance Anyday Armband + Fast Pass: $54 (Skip the lines on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
  • You can purchase your advance armband here and learn about the rides.

Play Like a Kid at the Florida State Fair

The Fair is truly timeless. Think about it..it has entertained generations of families for 120 years in the Tampa Bay area. Sure, it’s a chance for fun adulting experiences like a stop at one of the two Keel Farms bars, but there are also some fun ways for you to let go and play like a kid!

FLorida State Fair Games Wide Angle

While these activities were designed with kids in mind, they are open to guests of all ages:

  • The Games: There are endless fair games, so keep some extra cash handy just in case you want to try your luck at winning a larger-than-life stuffed animal and other nostalgic prizes.
  • The Foam Zone: Who doesn’t love bubbles?!? The Foam Zone bubbles up daily at 1:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:00 pm with additional fun on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm. We are told the foam is quick drying.
  • Visit Cracker Country: If you went to school here locally, you probably visited Cracker Country on a school field trip. Now you can step back into Florida’s past and tour this living history museum once again. There will also be live performances throughout the Fair dates.
  • Kids Celebration and Game Show: Love game shows? Now you can star in one! This live game show experience is open to people of all ages, despite the name! You’ll find it near the Special Events Center.
  • The Giant Slide: We absolutely love the slide near the Ferris wheel. Towering several stories tall, you climb the stairs and grab a mat for the ultimate slide down!
  • 3D Chalk Art: Remember the lazy summer days of creating works of art with chalk on your driveway? On February 9 and 10, you can watch professional chalk artists at work as they create incredible chalk art masterpieces. The art will remain on display throughout the Fair. Find the creations near the Florida Forestry/Cattle Ranching Exhibit near the Expo Hall.

The Fair Food

And, finally we get to the sweet part…the FOOD! It wouldn’t be the Fair without deep fried everything and this year, you can expect some crazy new concoctions from food vendors! We’ve had a chance to speak with them in the past and we can tell you, there’s a lot of thought and preparation that goes into creating these unique new dishes. And sometimes, they even get ideas for guests like you!

new food at the florida state fair lemonade funnel cake
Lemonade Funnel Cake– nothing says FAIR like a funnel cake!

Among the 23 NEW additions this year:

  • Lemonade Funnel Cake by TopScan Funnel Cakes
  • Pop Rock Pickles by Shockley’s Food Service
  • Barbie Funnel Cake by Paulette’s Food Service
  • Strawberry Shortcake Kabob by DeAnna’s Fried Banana Pudding
  • Waffle Chicken Sandwich by the Bean Bar Co.
  • Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Iced Tea by Tiki Tea

If you really want to take the deep dive into all the deep-fried goodies, check out the full Fair Foodie Guide.

The Florida State Fair is the Ultimate Date Night Experience

Spending the day with your significant other at the Florida State Fair is not only a nostalgic experience, but it’s also a memorable one. It’s a chance to channel your inner-child as you play, taste, and ride your way through one of Florida’s most treasured traditions.

And speaking of treasured traditions, here’s a fun fact for you– the Florida State Fair used to be celebrated alongside Gasparilla!

With deep roots like that, you really can’t go wrong!

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