The Florida State Fair promises two weeks of agricultural experiences, thrilling rides and exciting entertainment. Just under 45 minutes from Bradenton and less than one hour from Sarasota, you can easily enjoy all that the state fair has to offer in nearby Tampa Bay. Here is a sneak peek of some of the thrills that are coming this year.
The Midway at the Florida State Fair boasts dozens of rides with options for people of all ages. The offerings of the midway rival what a top amusement park would offer. New this year to the Florida State Fair Midway is the Super Cyclone Roller Coaster, a treat for the daredevils who will be attending; Stampede, a modern take on the old double Ferris Wheel; the Jungle Twist family coaster; and Disco, a unique U-shaped roller coaster. There will also be a new fun house and child-sized Giant Balloon Fiesta Wheel ride.
Cracker Country is a living history museum situated on the Florida State Fairgrounds site. It has 13 original buildings that were constructed between 1870 and 1912 as well as a collection of artifacts that will help you discover the past of rural Florida. Take a break from the sights, sounds and smells of the Midway as you explore Cracker Country. It is open until 6 p.m. daily.
Do you want to see the latest young chefs in the state? Head to the Student Chef Cook-Off Finale on February 6 at 10 a.m. Using ingredients "fresh from Florida," students will create and cook healthy recipes, and you can watch as the winning student is crowned as the State Student Chef.
When you get hungry at the fair, you may want to sample the winner of the People's Choice Burger Contest. Voting for entries ended on Jan. 27, but the winning two will be included on the 2016 fair menu.
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and the Florida State Fair Fairgrounds have created an interactive Learning Garden for fairgoers. You can witness different ways to grow food in Florida, and see local plants and healthy food options grown in the state. At the end of the fair, all of the food grown will be distributed in low-income neighborhoods, while non-edible plants will be sent to beautification projects through the state.
Catch the Swashchucklers Comedy Pirate Show, the Brown Entertainment High Dive performance, or the Circus Hollywood performance. If you love animals, the Welde Bear Show, Exotic Petting Zoo, and Racing Pigs will be performing. The Tampa Bay Times Stage comes to life each night with live musical numbers, while more family-friendly experiences and magic shows take over the Community stage and Waterfront Cafe.
There are just a few more days until the Florida State Fair and all of the food, entertainment, and rides it offers. Are you ready?