The Florida State Fair is coming to the fairgrounds for 12 days beginning Thursday, February 6 and ending on Monday, February 17.

Since 1904, the Florida State Fair has been a staple in Tampa Bay and is returning to the Tampa Fairgrounds from Thursday, February 6 to Monday, February 17 for 12 fun-filled days. Who doesn’t love some deep-fried Oreos, exciting rides to the Midway, carnival games and live entertainment? There is something for everyone of all ages at this year’s fair.

Known for amazing food and thrilling rides, there are also a few new events this year. If you love to run, the first annual Deep Fried Dash is race through the fair on Saturday, February 15. For a chance to be the first ever Deep Fried Dash 5K and Fun Run champion, register now for a fair-tastic deal.

Also new is the Showcase Community Stage where you can see the best of the best local talent in this community-driven show.

Frequent fair-goer and Ruskin resident Amber Council is always excited about the Florida State fair. Her daughter, Becky, is involved with Future Farmers of America (FFA) in school and is showing at the fair this year.

“We always enjoy the rides and the food,” said Council. “But, it’s also provides great agricultural opportunities. We will be at the fair again this year because the FFA students commit hundreds of hours to their agriculture projects.”

Among the long list of things to see and do includes Cracker Country where visitors step back in time to 19th century Florida at Tampa’s only living history museum, open all 12 days of the fair. There are also a variety of fun competitions for the best quilt, pie or plant.

Onlookers can enjoy a good old-fashioned demolition derby as they cheer on their favorite destructive drivers as they shake, rattle and roll through a series of obstacles to be the last car standing. And of course no visit to the fair is complete without a few rides on The Wipeout, Street Fighter and Midway Sky Eye ferris wheel.

Opening day is also Hero’s Day on Thursday, February 6 where first responders, including law enforcement, EMT, corrections officers and active or retired military, along with guests, get free admission to the fair.

The one-day admission price for adults is $9 and for children ages 6-11 is $5. Children under 5 are free. Other prices may vary and there is always special pricing on armbands for the Midway rides. For a complete list of pricing and more information on the events, concerts, live shows and other offerings, visit

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.