If you are looking for something to do this weekend, head out to the Florida State Fair located in Tampa for their annual visit. Every year, the state fair makes its way to the fairgrounds for eleven days to host their big family-friendly event. If you have never been or heard of the Florida State Fair, do not fear. We have all the information here that will be addressed such as rides, food, activities, and much more.
First, let’s talk about the history and story behind the state fair. The Florida State Fair dates back to 1904 when it was first held in downtown Tampa at the Henry B. Plant Hotel. From 1915-1975, the state fair combined their event with Tampa’s Gasparilla Carnival to become the biggest and best event of the year. Community members gathered to eat and celebrate everything Florida. From 1975-2019, the popularity of the fair arouse and moved to the Florida State Fairgrounds due to overcrowding and not having the space they needed. From starting as small business to the largest event in the state of Florida, today the fairgrounds attract over 1.5 million visitors throughout the year.
Now, let’s talk about the state fair! Your typical county fair usually consists of three to five rides/attractions that are usually the basic non-thrilling rides. The Florida State fair, however, has so many rides and attractions that it is hard to keep track! Not only is the fairgrounds HUGE, 330 acres to be exact, there are exactly 93 rides/attractions on the property. The rides at the fair are super fun! For thrill seekers, I recommend Air Raid, Delusion, or the Zipper. These are the types of rides that will make your stomach drop. If you’re someone who has a weak stomach, I would sit these ones out. Don’t worry though, there are plenty more rides that will suit you best. There are also kiddie rides for the younger children that they will be able to enjoy.
Up next, food! Fair food is also a big catch. Their “steak on a stick” is to die for! For only $11, you get juicy pieces of steak served as kebabs. The fair is also known for their famous “Doughnut Burger” which consists of a beef patty, with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and bacon, topped with two glazed doughnuts as the buns. It may sound unusual, but it tastes incredible! Fried food is also a must whenever you visit the fair. Whether it is friend Oreo’s, Twinkies, pickles, and of course FUNNEL CAKES! You can not leave the fair without having a bite of those.
Need more reason to attend the fair? Let’s talk about competitions, education and more entertainment fun the fair brings! Put on your creative hat and battle out in a variety of competitions such as making the best quilt, or baking the best pie; you can also compete alongside Florida’s top livestock exhibitors too! Take a stroll into Tampa’s only living history museum dating back to the 19th century. Here, you will learn the life of a pioneer and visit authentic buildings to learn about home-life, trade, and transportation. For entertainment, visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not to see some awesome and strange and unusual items. If you are into a lot of thrill, make your way to Demo Derby and watch cars crash and smash into each other until there is only one left standing. Or visit the stables for a pony ride for the younger kids.
If you are absolutely convinced, I have done my part and will now provide ticket pricing and everything else. Below you will find ticket information:
Adult Fair weekend (Valid only one day) $14.00
Adult Fair Weekend (Valid from February 10-13) $11.00
Child Fair Weekend (Ages 6-11. Ages 5 and under are free) $8.00
Child Fair Weekday (Ages 6-11 and valid Feb. 10-13) $6
Senior (Ages 55+) $9.00
Senior 4 Day Pass $17.00
Anyday Armband (Not for specialty rides) $35.00
Weekend Armband (Single use and valid from Feb. 10-13) $25.00
Gold Access (Good with anyday armband) $20.00
*Admission tickets are required for entrance. No refunds or exchanges. Sales are final.
Below you will find the address to the Florida State Fair:
4800 US-301 Tampa, FL 33610