The Florida State Fair

Let's spend a day at the Florida State Fair. There are many sights to photography, including the famous living history display (only during the State Fair) at Cracker County. Gates open at 9am Discover the Fun! Over 110 FREE Things to See and Do!

Admission is just $9 for adults if purchased in advance, $13 at the gate. Tickets may be purchased at any Walgreens or online here. Advanced tickets must be purchased by February 5, 2014.

In the evening we'll practice nighttime photography of the many rides on the midway. If you wan to try this type of photography you'll need to bring a tripod. Here are a few examples.

Here are just a few of the events tha

t day:

Discover and Explore the Unique Exhibits

Technology Showcase located in the Veranda

Florida Agriculture located in the Ag Hall of Fame

Florida Cattlemen’s Ranching Museum across from the Steam Engine

Florida’s Learning Garden near Gate 3

"Pete the Pelican Pirate Photo Op!" 10:00am-1:30am and 2:00-2:30pm in the Greenhouse
Presenter: Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful

Outdoor Music Series at the Tampa Bay Times Stage

Dennis Lee Show at 12pm, 3pm, 6pm
Hotel California "Eagles Tribute Band" at 11am, 2pm, 5pm
Porch Dogs at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 8pm
Waterfront Café presented by the Tampa Bay Times
Johnny Lowry at 12pm, 6pm
Leon Jacobs at 1pm, 2pm, 4pm, 5pm
DeWayne Hill, Magician at 3pm
Florida Living Center
Johnny Lowry at 2pm, 4pm
Main Attractions
Racing Pigs at 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm
Welde Bear Show presented by the New York Yankees
Shows at 12pm for play in the pool, shows at 2:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm
Kachunga Alligator Show at 12pm, 3pm, 6pm
Sea Lion Splash at 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm
Circus Hollywood presented by Brandon Ford at 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm
Exotic Petting Zoo in the Ag Area from Open to Close
Bob Thomas Equestrian Center
Appaloosa Horse Show
Youth Dog Show in the Covered Arena
Livestock Event Schedule
Open & Youth Beef Cattle Arrive 8am-1pm
Youth Dairy Goat Judging Contest 8am, 7:30am Registration
Open Dairy Goat Senior Show, After Youth Goat Judging Contest
Youth Dog Show, Brace, Rally, Agility & Team Competition 9:30am
Youth Goat Judging Contest Awards 11:30am
Youth Swine Show 12pm
Purebred Poultry Released 4pm-6pm
Goats Released 5pm
Youth Swine Released After Show
Beef Exhibitor Meeting & Dinner 7pm
Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country,
a Rural Living History Museum
Explore the Museum from 10am to 6pm
Main Stage
Southern Bluegrass Express 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Performances in the Cracker Country Church
Mullins Acoustic Guitar & Hammered Dulcimer 9am-1pm
Centurians Southern Gospel 2am-3am
Karen Brown-Blonigen Mountain Dulcimer 9am-4pm Various Locations
A brief History of the Florida State Fair
The year was 1904. The American Flag had 45 stars, Theodore Roosevelt was president and the average American earned 22 cents per hour. It was the year that T.J. Laud-Brown, the manager of the Tampa Bay Hotel convinced the city founders and the rail line that they needed to bring the South Florida Fair to the grounds of the Tampa Bay Hotel. The South Florida Fair Association was formed and plans for a new exhibition were proposed. That first Fair was held on a 27-acre plot adjoining the Henry B. Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel, now known as the University of Tampa. The attractions were simple, as there were five races to bet on and the various agricultural exhibits were showcased in just one building.
Soon after, the event became known as the Florida State Mid-Winter Festival and was the place to be! Families from near and far would come to the festival. Children would play games, eat popcorn and Fairy Floss while their parents won bragging rights for their prized Bull, the best pie, or the most beautiful quilt. In 1915 when Articles of Incorporation for the South Florida Fair and Gasparilla Carnival were filed with the Secretary of State office in Tallahassee, the Fair became known as the Florida State Fair.
In 1975, Florida State Legislature created the Florida State Fair Authority and designated that the Tampa event was the official Florida State Fair.
In 1976, the headlines read “A Stadium full of State Fair starts Thursday” as the Florida State Fair moved into the Tampa Stadium aka “The Big Sombrero” and home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while its final location was being created. In February of 1977 the first Fair was held at its current location near Interstate 4 and U.S Highway 301 in eastern Hillsborough County, a 330-acre site, just seven miles from its original downtown Tampa location.
Today, the Florida State Fair attracts up to 500,000 people in twelve days. Each year Florida residents create exhibits for Aquaculture, Horticulture, Woodcarving, Needlework and more. Over ninety years later and bragging rights are still won for the prized bull, best pie and the most beautiful quilt. Being an Independent Midway, all rides are selected by the Fair Authority to provide our visitors with all the thrills and chills they’ve come to expect. As the first State Fair of the year, we get all the latest and greatest in Fair foods such as the Pizza Cone, Redneck Burger, Bacon Ice Cream, and more! It’s affordable family fun at its best! Nobody does it better than the Florida State Fair!