When you hear the words “The Best Time of the Year,” Christmas music and wintertime come to mind. But, this year, the Florida State Fair is what should come to mind, as it is branding itself as The Best Time of the Year, instead of using a theme each year.
The Best Time of the Year will run from Thursday, February 10- Monday, February 21, at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa.
This year, the fair will host a country music concert, “Corndogs n’ Country” on Friday, February 11, with Craig Morgan, Joe Nichols, Jake Owen, Sunny Sweeney and Brett Eldredge, performing at the 1-800 Ask Gary Amphitheater.
“We are excited to be able offer fairgoers the opportunity to enjoy the State Fair and some great country music,” said Charles Pesano, Executive Director for the Florida State Fair Authority.
Ticket prices for the concert are $20, plus fees.  Concert tickets also include state fair admission.  The doors open at 5 p.m., allowing guests plenty of time to come early for all their favorite fair foods and fun rides, and then kick back and enjoy the concert.  Concert goers will be given an armband so they can go from the concert to the fair as often as they like.
Save up t $4 a ticket when you buy fair tickets at Sweetbay Supermarkets between through Wednesday, February 9, while supplies last or online.
Regular prices during the 2011 fair are $10 for adults over the age of 12 and $5 for children ages 6-11, Monday-Friday; $12 for adults over the age of 12 and $6 for children ages 6-11, Saturday-Sunday; free for kids 5 and younger every day. However, upon arrival, visitors must obtain a complimentary admission ticket for kids 5 and younger at the fair ticket window.
Pepsi armband tickets are $30 each and are only valid for a single day use on February 11, 13, 18, 20 or 21. Once the fair starts, armbands can be purchased at any entrance gate or inside at any midway ticket booth.  Armband vouchers purchased in advance should be redeemed at a midway ticket booth once inside the fair.
The coupon book – available for $5 at the gate – is intended to be used by fair visitors for savings on food, products and services being sold by concessionaires/exhibitors during the fair. 
For more information, visit www.floridastatefair.com, call toll free 1-800-345-FAIR (3247) or locally at 621-7821.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.