Staff Report

The 113th Florida State Fair is scheduled for February 9 through 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa. This year’s theme, “Picture Yourself at the Fair,” emphasizes all of the unforgettable moments waiting to be captured on camera.

One of the new featured attractions promises to make patrons of all ages as happy as kids in a candy store as they learn about the history of confections. The Sweets exhibit, along with rides, shows, concerts, shopping, food and amazing animals and livestock, as well as Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country and other exciting entertainment, promise non-stop fun – all at an excellent value and always with free parking. Discounted advance admission and ride armband tickets are available for purchase at

New at the Florida State Fair is Sweets: A Tasty Journey, an interactive exhibit that utilizes a blend of traditional and modern educational techniques to explore candy’s history and role in popular culture. There also is a giant Candy Land game perfect for fun photo ops, a “beanboozled” taste test challenge (grass flavored jelly beans anyone?) and candy-inspired art, including amazing replicas of famous paintings like the Mona Lisa, created with jellybeans.

Visitors also learn about the ingredients used to make their favorite treats from a “farm to fork” perspective and get schooled in the nuts and bolts of the confection-making process, while hearing fascinating stories of famous candy makers and chocolatiers. The Sweets exhibit is free with the price of admission.

“We want both loyal patrons and those who have not yet visited the Fair to join us in making memories that will last a lifetime,” said Cheryl Flood, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “The Sweets exhibit in particular will provide a fun and educational experience for all ages.”

In addition to thrilling rides, it wouldn’t be the Florida State Fair without educational and entertaining attractions and performers. Where – for the price of a movie ticket – can you see a Sea Lion, a spectacular Big Top Circus, cheer on your favorite porker at the pig races, feed a giraffe from your own hand, enjoy acts from TV shows like America’s Got Talent, watch an amazing bear show, and be thrilled by the dogs of K-9s in Flight?
Discounted admission and armband tickets are available at Get the best prices now through January 1. Tickets also can be purchased at Florida Walgreens locations through February 8.

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