state-fairThe Florida State Fair will return with the theme “Super Fair” this year from Thursday, February 4- Monday, February 15, at the State Fairgrounds, located at 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa, on the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and U.S. Hwy. 301, near I-4.New to the fair this year are helicopter rides in the original Batcopter used in the TV series, a Las Vegas-style show called Celebrate! and frog jumping championships, in addition to the already popular Kachunga alligator show, Sea Lion Splash and Welde Big Bear Show and Grizzly Falls.According to Florida State Fair spokeswoman Denise Shreaves, the Batcopter will provide a 15-minute aerial tour of the surrounding area for two people at $30 per person. Two people are needed to ride the Batcopter. She said this and the Slingshot are considered “thrill rides” and are not included in ride tickets or armbands. The newest “fair food” this year is Fair Squares, which are described as fluffy, deep-friend goodness with pink powdered sugar topping. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen For the Cure charity. Reaves said Fair Squares are similar to the French pastry beignet, meaning fried dough. Other discount offers include a coupon value book which can be purchased in advance for $4. Shreaves said it is similar to the entertainment book but is specific to fair vendors only. For instance, she said, you may have a coupon for $1 off a corndog, or in the Entertainment Hall, a vendor may offer $1 off a $10 purchase. Coupon books will be available for $5 at the fair. Other discount offers include 30 ride tickets for $24 per sheet and Pepsi armbands for $25 per armband.  When residents purchase the ride tickets in advance, Shreaves said they get 10 more ride tickets.Special value days at the fair include the opening day armband for $20 after 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 4; student days at the fair are Friday, February 5, and Monday, February 15, and cost $6 for ages 12 through 12th grade and $5 for ages 6-11; senior days are Tuesday, February 9, and Thursday, February 11, and cost $6 for ages 55 and over; Thursday, February 11, is Salute to Veterans day where admission is free after 4 p.m. and there is free musical entertainment at 6 p.m. in the Sweetbay Entertainment Hall; and 4-H and FFA days are Saturdays, February 6 and 13. For more information on the 2010 Florida State Fair, please call 621-7821 or visit

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Jennifer Silverstein
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.