The Florida State Fair opens on Thursday, February 10.

Mark your calendars because the Florida State Fair is coming to town. Held at the Florida State Fairgrounds from Thursday, February 10 to Wednesday, February 23, the fair offers food, fun, entertainment and even education for the whole family.

The Florida State Fair, first held in Tampa in 1904, has become one of the largest events in the state, attracting more than 500,000 people during its 12-day run.

The fair boasts the largest midway in the USA, a robust agricultural program, a circus, interactive animal exhibits and new attractions each year.

As the first state fair of the year, the Florida State Fair is the first to debut new foods as well as all of the unique fair foods visitors have come to know and love.

According to the fair’s website, some of this year’s unique food items include the caramel apple cinnamon roll, which is a cinnamon roll topped with warm cinnamon apple pie topping, drizzled with warm caramel; deep fried banana pudding, which is donut holes topped with banana pudding, whipped cream and caramel drizzled on top; and the donut dog, which consists of a homemade Long John donut, freshly grilled all-beef hotdog, applewood bacon and icing drizzled on top.

To prepare to eat all the delicious fair food, residents are invited to participate in the Deep-Fried Dash 5K and Fun Run. The run, which starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, February 19, takes participants through the fair grounds on the 5K and fun runs.

All proceeds from the Deep-Fried Dash will benefit the Florida State Fair Foundation, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to improve and support agricultural, scientific and educational programs at the Florida State Fair like Cracker Country Living History Museum, Ag-Venture and more.

Participants can register today at

It’s affordable family fun at its best. Armbands for unlimited rides and other advance ticket deals are available online. For more information about the Florida State Fair, please visit or follow on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.

The Florida State Fairgrounds are located at 4800 U.S. 301 in Tampa.

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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.