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Florida Fairs

State boasts 51 fabulous fairs!

By

Florida State Fair Midway

Florida State Fair Midway

Photo of Florida State Fair Midway © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

Who doesn't love a fair? There is something about the lure of a bustling midway with its unique sights, sounds and smells. Nothing can match the thrill of the stomach-churning rides or taking a chance at the midway games. But, the bottom line? It's all about the food. It's surely where gastrointestinal nightmares are born, but who can resist the cotton candy, ice cream and things fried that you never thought of frying?

Florida residents are fortunate to have 50 chances each year to take advantage of one of the best entertainment values around — county fairs — 51 if you count the Florida State Fair. County fairs can be found throughout Florida — from the rolling hills of the Panhandle to the sandy shores of South Florida — and they highlight the communities where they are located... making each different. Besides the midway, livestock competitions and exhibits, agricultural exhibits, arts and crafts and live entertainment provide an exciting day for the entire family.

While every county fair is unique, there are a few standouts. The Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition ranks as one of the largest and most successful fairs in the nation and attracts over a half-million visitors every year. For over 60 years, the all-youth Southeastern Youth Fair in Ocala is where young people have showcased their 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) skills; but, one of the most popular components of that fair has to be the two-day Florida High School Rodeo, where young cowboys and cowgirls show off their roping and riding skills. The Florida Strawberry Festival provides outstanding exhibits, low-cost nationally acclaimed entertainment... and, of course, plenty of those tasty red strawberries.

While fairs offer good entertainment value, there are a few cost-cutting measures available to save even more:

  • Take advantage of advance ticket sales, often available online and at special ticket offices.
  • Save a bundle on packages that include admission, ride wrist bands and drink coupons. These are often only available in advance.
  • Look for special offers and coupons available in newspapers, restaurants, etc.
  • Take advantage of special days. Often fairs offer special admission discounts to children, seniors and special interest groups on certain days. Some days may even be set aside as free admission days for kids.
  • Park at an off-site lot and ride free shuttles.
  • Pack a picnic lunch or carry a few healthy snacks and a bottle of water.
Florida's fairs are held in the fall, winter and early spring. Mostly dry conditions and mild temperatures during those months allow Floridians a chance to enjoy outdoor events while giving carnaval workers year round employment.

 

Find a Fair

Fair dates and locations are listed below:

September, 2014
Baker County Fair (TBA) - Macclenny
Northwest Florida Fair (Sept 29 - Oct 4) - Fort Walton Beach
 

October, 2014
Central Panhandle Fair (Oct 1-6) - Panama City
Walton County Fair (Oct 6-11) - DeFuniak Springs
Greater Hillsborough County Fair (Oct 23-26 and Oct 30 - Nov 2) - Brandon
Northeast Florida Fair (Oct 16-36) - Callahan
Pensacola Interstate Fair (Oct 16-26) - Pensacola
Alachua County Fair (TBA) Gainesville
Greater Holmes County Fair (TBA) - Bonifay
St. Johns County Agricultural Fair (TBA) - Elkton
Brevard County Fair (Oct 23 - Nov 2) -Melbourne
Columbia County Fair (Oct 31 - Nov 8) - Lake City

November, 2014
Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair (TBA) - Jacksonville
North Florida Fair (Nov 6-16) - Tallahassee
Volusia County Fair (Nov 6-16) - DeLand
Broward County Fair (Nov 21-30) - Pembroke Pines

January, 2015
Manatee County Fair (Jan 15-25) - Palmetto
DeSoto County Fair (Jan 16-25) - Arcadia
South Florida Fair (Jan 16 - Feb 1) - West Palm Beach
Polk County Youth Fair (Jan 24-30) - Bartow
Charlotte County Fair (Jan 30 - Feb 8) - Port Charlotte

February, 2015
Florida State Fair (Feb 5-16) - Tampa
Highlands County Fair (Feb 6-14) - Sebring
Hendry County Fair and Livestock Show (TBA) - Clewiston
Martin County Fair (Feb 13-21) - Stuart
Osceola County Fair (Feb 13-22) - Kissimmee
Hardee County Fair (Feb 14-21) - Wauchula
Pasco County Fair (TBA) - Dade City
Southeastern Youth Fair (Feb 21-28) - Ocala
Chalo Nitka Festival, Glades County Youth Livestock Show and Frontier Days Rodeo (TBA) - Moore Haven
Florida Strawberry Festival (Feb 26 - Mar 8) - Plant City
Central Florida Fair (Feb 26 - Mar 8) - Orlando Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair (Feb 27 - Mar 9) - North Fort Myers
Saint Lucie County Fair (Feb 27 - Mar 8) - Fort Pierce

March, 2015
Alachua County Youth Fair (TBA) - Gainesville
Suwannee River Fair (TBA) - Fanning Springs
Okeechobee County Fair (TBA) - Okeechobee
Sumter County Fair (TBA) - Bushnell
Bradford County Fair (Mar 10-15) - Starke
Collier County Fair (Mar 12-22) - Naples
Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition (Mar 12 - Apr 5; Closed Mar 16, 17, 30 & 31) - Miami
Firefighters' Indian River County Fair (Mar 13-22) - Vero Beach
Sarasota County Fair (Mar 13-22) - Sarasota
Putnam County Agricultural Fair (TBA) - East Palatka
Suwannee County Fair (Mar 20-28) - Live Oak
Citrus County Fair (Mar 23-28) - Inverness

April, 2015
Flagler County Fair (TBA) - Bunnell
Clay County Agricultural Fair (Apr 2-11) - Green Cove Springs
Lake County Fair (Apr 9-18) - Eustis
Hernando County Fair (TBA) - Brooksville
Santa Rosa County Fair (Apr 3-11) - Milton
Levy County Fair (TBA) - Williston

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