Watch this 2017 video of the Midway Sky Eye being assembled. / Video and photos courtesy Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair, set for Feb. 8-19 in Tampa, is a great event — made even better when you enjoy Florida State Fair discounts. Keep reading to find out about this annual event — and about great ways to save.
Held at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa, the fair features a midway, carnival, livestock shows, agriculture exhibits, equestrian events, arts and crafts, live concerts and more.
What began as a simple event in 1904, held on the property of what now is the University of Tampa, had only a few agricultural exhibits. In 1915, articles of incorporation were filed for the event, then known as the South Florida Fair and Gasparilla Carnival. In 1975, the state Legislature officially named the Tampa event the Florida State Fair.
Some things haven’t changed since 1915. Competition is still stiff for contests such as the 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging, Youth Sheep Obstacle Course, and the Youth Dairy Goat Judging. Midway rides still provide thrills, and chills, for riders.
And don’t forget the food, some of which has traditionally been … unusual. Examples? The Pizza Cone, the Redneck Burger, Bacon Ice Cream. What more could you want? Oh, yes — discounts.
How to save on admission to the Florida State Fair
Florida State Fair buy-in-advance discounts are many and varied. Ways to save range from up to $4 off the regular admission price; to the Any Day Ride Armband ($30 in advance, $35 at gate), good for admission — including unlimited terror … er, rides — on any one day.
The Mega 12-Day Pass, good for unlimited admission and rides for all 12 days of the fair, costs $99.
Buy advance tickets and armbands online (www.floridastatefair.com) or at participating Publix supermarkets in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco counties.
Adults (12 and up) can buy tickets in advance for $9, thus saving up to $4. Tickets are valid for any day of the fair.
Of course, to save even more, you could bring family and friends and come as a group. An adult ticket for groups of 25 or more (tickets must be bought all at once) costs $8.
Seniors (55 and up) who buy tickets at the gate are admitted for $9 during Seniorific Days (Feb. 12-16). Or they can buy a ticket in advance for $7.
Advance tickets for kids 6 to 11 cost $5 and are valid any day of the fair.
More good news: Parking is free!
For more information
Download the Agribusiness Schedule of Events at www.floridastatefairag.com/pdffiles/live-schedule.pdf.
For hours and directions, visit www.floridastatefair.com/p/about/416.
For the event calendar, visit www.floridastatefair.com/events/daily-entertainment.
The box office can be reached at 813-740-4640.