Florida State FairIt’s just about time for Fair time! The Florida State Fair will be back in town before you know it. The fair will run this year from February 5-16. Gates open daily at 9 a.m. and closing time varies by the day of the week and weather conditions.
This year there will be five armband days, February 6, 8, 13, 15 and 16.
“This year’s ‘big event’ should be a lot of fun,” said Paul Wilson, President/CEO of Wilson Media, the company which handles all of the fair’s advertizing and media relations.
Rides and foods are still being secured, and there will be new of each, Wilson said. Food is the No. 1 reason people came to the fair last year, he said.
Wilson said, “Sharks will be sighted at this year’s Fair. A new exhibit, Shark Encounter is very interesting. But it’s educational and exciting for Fair-goers.”
“Yep, someone swims with the sharks, ‘live’ at the Fair,” he said.
Elvis impersonators will shake, rattle and roll in as the Elvis Extravaganza returns. Also, new this year, a Vegas-style show is coming called Glitz, A Tribute to halftime shows.
Opening day, Thursday, February 5, after 3 p.m., you can save 33 percent off regular price of an armband at $20 each armband. No advance sales; must be purchased at a Fair Midway booth inside the Fair.
Student days Friday, February 6 and Monday, February 16, students ages 12 through 12th grade can get into the fair for $6, children ages 6-11 for $5. This student discount on gate admission can only be purchased at the entrance gate on these fair days.
Visitors are encouraged to bring a box of pens and/or pencils to benefit Teaching Tools program for Hillsborough Education Foundation.
This discount is separate from the free admission voucher provided to the public school district students in participating counties. Students must bring their admission voucher and provide it at the entrance gate to get free admission on the specified day.
Hillsborough county public school students will receive free admission vouchers valid for use on Friday February 6.
Senior days are February 10-12, with seniors ages 55 and over getting in for $6; free gate admission is available on February 12 after 4 p.m. This discount can only be purchased at the entrance gate on these days during the fair.
For more information about the 2009 Florida State Fair, call toll-free (800) 345-FAIR or 621-7821 or visit www.floridastatefair.com.

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Jennifer is the Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer, having climbed the corporate ladder from intern in 2007. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She lives in Channing Park with her husband, Eric, and their two dogs.