By Allison Mondell, CBS Tampa

If it’s February, the distinctive sights, smells and sounds of the Florida State Fair are right around the corner.  From Thursday through Feb. 20, visitors will be treated to rides, games, food and top-notch entertainment at the Florida State Fairgrounds just off of Interstate-4 in Tampa.  With all the options the fair offers, we’ve put together a list of the top five things about the Florida State Fair this year.

1.  Batcopter Ride
The original helicopter from the 1966 Batman TV series will be returning to the fair this year.  Take a ride in the same helicopter that Batman and Robin used to fight the bad guys over 40 years ago!  The Batcopter is one of the 111 rides available at the fair this year.

2.  Deep fried foods
Fried foods take on a whole new meaning at the Florida State Fair.  Fair-goers can choose from a wide variety of fried foods, such as pickles, Oreos, Snickers, M&M’s and Twinkies.  The newest additions offered will be fried Kool-Aid and bubble gum.  The fried Kool-Aid is in the shape of a donut hole and the bubble gum is a flavored like a marshmallow, dipped in batter, fried and topped with icing and Chiclets!

3.  The Country Gold Tour
On Feb. 15, the Country Gold Tour comes to the fair.  On the lineup are country stars LeRoy Van Dyke, Lynn Anderson, Gene Watson, Janie Frickie and T.G. Sheppard.  Van Dyke was one of the biggest country singers of the 1960s, with hits “Auctioneer” and “Walk on By.”  Old-time country music fans won’t want to miss this concert.  The cost for admission to the concert is $10 plus fair admission.

4.  Xtreme sports show
Don’t try this at home!  The Xtreme Sports show is full of daring stunts and dare-devil moves that will be sure to entertain.  The show is included in the regular fair admission.  With the exception of Feb. 15, the show will perform everyday of the fair.

5.  Cracker Country
Take a step back in time and experience Florida’s history at Cracker Country.  Fair-goers can explore old Florida in the school house, blacksmith shop, old General Store and post office.  Live demonstrations of woodcarving, spinning and making sugar cane into syrup are all part of the Cracker Country experience.  Admission for the museum is included in fair admission.  Cracker Country will be open daily during the fair until 6 p.m. 

Fair tickets are available for advance purchase online and at Sweetbay Supermarkets, or they can be bought at the gate.  Parking is free during the fair.

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