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Maximize Your Experience: The 2024 Florida State Fair Guide for Tampa Visitors



Maximize Your Experience: The 2024 Florida State Fair Guide for Tampa Visitors

Discover the highlights from February 8-19 at the inaugural state fair, renowned for its expansive midway and unique culinary creations.

The upcoming Florida State Fair, running from Feb. 8 to Feb. 19, stands as the country’s first state fair of the year, benefitting from Tampa’s pleasant climate. Renowned for hosting the largest midway and innovating in the amusement sector, this 12-day extravaganza is set to continue its legacy.

Familiar with its reputation for eccentric culinary delights, this year introduces new treats such as the Pop Rocks Pickle, Fried Spam Grilled Cheese, and a cheese curd burger sandwiched between two Honey Buns.

However, the fair is not just about unusual food; it offers a diverse range of activities and attractions. Executive director Cheryl Flood suggests visiting their website,, before heading out to explore the myriad offerings.

“There is so much, you can easily feel like you have missed something,” said Flood, now in her eighth year in charge of the Tampa-based fair that stretches across 330 acres.

The Florida State Fair offers a rich lineup with over 150 shows, three music stages, captivating art exhibits, and entertaining street performances.

With a focus on agriculture, visitors can explore diverse exhibits, including honey tastings with beekeepers, a milking parlor experience, and a section showcasing various cows, chickens, and goats, along with a spot to interact with adorable baby animals. The Mooternity Ward provides a chance to witness newborn calves.

In a delightful addition, fireworks will illuminate the skies during the opening and closing weekends for the first time since 2015. Opening weekend festivities include silent discos and a concert on Saturday, adding an extra layer of excitement to compete with the Super Bowl weekend. Executive director Cheryl Flood expressed the fair’s commitment to stepping up the experience for attendees.

In 2023, the Florida State Fair attracted 405,888 visitors, experiencing a 5% decrease from the previous year. Nevertheless, it secured the 41st spot on the list of the top 50 most-attended fairs in the nation, as reported by Carnival Warehouse, a notable industry information resource.

Recognized by Wide Open Country, the media platform for country music and lifestyle, the fair earned acclaim for its record-breaking Ferris wheel and the unique Cracker Country, a living history museum offering a journey back to the 19th century.

Explore this guide for insights into what awaits you at this year’s fair.

Tickets and Discount Days

For budget-friendly fair access, consider purchasing tickets and armbands online in advance, with prices starting at $11. Take advantage of this discounted pricing available until Wednesday, Feb. 7. Following this date, weekend admission rises to $16, with children’s tickets priced at $10. From Monday to Thursday, adult tickets are $12, and children can enter for $6.

It’s crucial to note the revised youth admissions policy. After 6 p.m., individuals aged 17 and under must be accompanied by an admission-paying parent or guardian, who should be at least 21 years old. A supervising adult can accompany up to four youths.

  1. Heroes Day, Feb. 8:
    • Free admission for law enforcement, first responders, active or retired military, and veterans with valid ID.
  2. Super Savings, Feb. 11:
    • Free admission all day for law enforcement, first responders, active or retired military, and veterans with valid ID.
    • Free admission for everyone else after 3 p.m. with the purchase of an Anyday Ride Armband.
  3. $3 Thursday, Feb. 15:
    • $3 admission for all visitors.
    • $3 for select rides, games, and food items after 3 p.m.
  4. Family Day, Feb. 16 and 19:
    • Free admission until 6 p.m. for anyone 17 years or younger with an admission-paying parent or guardian.
    • A parent or guardian can supervise up to four youths.
  5. Senior Days:
    • Any Monday through Friday, admission is $11 for seniors aged 55 and older.

Delightful Fair Food Highlights:

  1. Banana Cream Pie Nachos:
    • A sweet and savory twist, combining the goodness of banana cream pie with nachos.
  2. Cheddar Pickle Crunch Pizza:
    • A unique pizza creation featuring the crunch of cheddar and the tanginess of pickles.
  3. Florida Quesadilla:
    • A Floridian twist to the classic quesadilla, featuring gator nuggets for a local flavor.
  4. New Pop Rocks Pickles:
    • An exciting addition with a burst of flavor, combining the classic crunch of pickles with the fun of Pop Rocks.
  5. Barbie-themed Funnel Cakes:
    • Indulge in the whimsy with Barbie-themed funnel cakes, adding a touch of nostalgia to your fair food experience.
  6. Food Challenge Map Hunt:
    • Explore the fair and embark on a culinary adventure by grabbing a map from the information booths to locate the newest food challenges.
  7. Corn Dog Chow-Down, Feb. 12:
    • Witness the ultimate corn dog feast as participants face off in a chow-down competition.
  8. Valentine’s Day Pizza-Eating Contest:
    • Celebrate love with a twist! Watch competitors devour pizzas in a timed eating contest on Valentine’s Day.
  9. Feb. 15 Funnel Cake Faceoff:
    • Who can conquer the funnel cake challenge? Find out in this exciting faceoff on February 15.
  10. Peachy’s Amish Donut Chow Down Championship, Feb. 18:
    • Prepare for doughnut madness as contestants compete to devour hubcap-sized doughnuts in record time during this fan-favorite championship on February 18.
  11. Culinary Delights Showcase:
  12. Winning Creations Display:
    • Immerse yourself in a feast for the eyes at the Special Events Center, showcasing the finest jams, cake decorating masterpieces, artisanal bread, delectable cakes, pies, and even a gluten-free baking triumph.
  13. Live Baking and Cake Decorating Contests, Feb. 17:
    • Experience the thrill as talented bakers and decorators showcase their skills in live competitions on February 17. Baking commences at 9 a.m., while cake decorating takes the spotlight at 11 a.m.
  14. Winner’s Announcement, 4 p.m.:
    • Anticipate the moment of glory as the winners are officially revealed at 4 p.m. in the Special Events Center, concluding a day filled with culinary artistry and competition.


“The nice thing about this fair is that once you get in, all the entertainment is free,” Flood said. “We don’t nickel-and-dime you all day that way.”

Weekend Extravaganza Highlights:

  1. Fireworks Spectacle:
    • Illuminate your Friday and Saturday nights with dazzling fireworks displays, creating a mesmerizing skyline that adds a touch of magic to your fair experience.
  2. Silent Disco Delight:
    • Immerse yourself in the ultimate silent disco experience, where you can dance to your own rhythm, creating a lively and unique atmosphere on the fairgrounds.
  3. Local Vendor Pop-Up Market:
    • Explore the diverse offerings of local vendors at the pop-up market, showcasing a variety of goods and crafts that capture the vibrant spirit of the community.
  4. Live Concert by TigirLily:
    • Get ready for an unforgettable musical journey with a live concert featuring the emerging country duo TigirLily, serenading you with their enchanting tunes.
  5. Grand Finale Fireworks on Closing Weekend:
    • Bid farewell to the Florida State Fair in style with a breathtaking fireworks display during the closing weekend, creating a spectacular send-off on February 17-18.

Fairground Extravaganza Highlights:

  1. Aqua Rock by Bello Nock:
    • Witness the extraordinary talents of Bello Nock, the former Ringling circus star, as he presents a daily show featuring a captivating fusion of daring stunts, rock music, and water choreography over the fairground’s expansive lake.
  2. Foam Zone Fun for Kids:
    • Delight your little ones with the all-new Foam Zone, a play area promising whimsical, frothy, and foamy fun for kids. With three daily shows, kids can immerse themselves in a world of joy without worrying about messy aftermaths – the fun wipes right off!
  3. Circus Hollywood Extravaganza:
    • Step under the big top for the daily Circus Hollywood show, featuring seven rotating acts showcasing camels, horses, dogs, clowns, daredevils, magicians, and trapeze artists – a delightful spectacle for fairgoers of all ages.
  4. Hollywood Racing Pigs:
    • Cheer on the adorable racing pigs in this fan-favorite event! Watch as these swift porkers navigate obstacle courses and compete in two thrilling races, including the World’s Fastest Potbelly Race on Mall Road – a hilarious and heartwarming spectacle.
  5. Lawn Mower Races:
    • Get ready for high-speed action on Feb. 17-18 as the nation’s oldest sanctioned mower race revs up in the Covered Arena. Watch as lawnmowers transform into speedy competitors for an exhilarating spectacle.
  6. Cycle Circus Live:
    • Brace yourself for the Grand Prix Ring’s largest freestyle motocross entertainment show. Experience the adrenaline-pumping stunts and theatrics of Cycle Circus Live, featuring top action sports athletes pushing the limits.
  7. Secret Walls – Live Paint Battle:
    • Immerse yourself in the artistry of a live paint battle at Secret Walls. Teams of up to six artists go head-to-head, creating murals in just 90 minutes. The crowd decides the winning team in this dynamic fusion of art and entertainment. Live music and fire performances add to the excitement in the Entertainment Hall.
  8. For detailed schedules and comprehensive information on all entertainment options, visit
  1. Midway Sky Eye:
    • Reach new heights of excitement with the country’s tallest traveling Ferris wheel, the Midway Sky Eye. Experience breathtaking views and thrilling spins as you embark on this iconic fair adventure.
  2. 90+ Rides and Attractions:
    • Dive into a world of fun with over 90 rides and attractions, offering something for every thrill-seeker. From heart-pounding roller coasters to classic carnival rides, the fair promises an exhilarating experience for all.
  3. Kids’ Zone:
    • Create lasting memories for the little ones in the dedicated Kids’ Zone. Featuring age-appropriate rides and games, this section ensures that even the youngest fairgoers have a delightful and safe adventure.
  1. Petting Zoo Adventure:
    • Little animal lovers can delight in our charming petting zoo, nestled among the diverse agricultural exhibits. Experience the joy of interacting with adorable animals in a safe and supervised environment.
  2. Kids Celebration Game Show:
    • Gather the whole family for the Kids Celebration Game Show at the Welcome Center. With music, lively interaction, and entertaining games, this show is designed for all ages, promising laughter and excitement for everyone.
  3. Little Farm Hands Exhibit:
    • Ignite your child’s curiosity at the Little Farm Hands exhibit, an interactive agricultural education experience. From building scarecrows to engaging in hands-on activities like saddling a pony, kids will gain a deeper understanding of the farm-to-table process in a playful and educational setting.

Florida State Fair 2024 – Essential Information:

  • Event Duration: February 8-19, 2024
  • Admission Fees:
    • $16 for Adults
    • $10 for Ages 6-11
    • Discounts available for Seniors
  • Ride Armbands:
    • $27-$54 (Prices may vary)
  • Discount Days: Explore the fair’s Discount Days page for exclusive deals on selected days.
  • Gates Opening Hours:
    • Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.
    • Friday-Sunday: 10 a.m.
  • Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa.
  • Contact: For inquiries, contact 813-621-7821.
  • Official Website:

Plan your visit, experience thrilling rides, savor unique food offerings, and enjoy an array of entertainment at the Florida State Fair!


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