By Barbara Ann Kelley,

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

The Florida State Fair in Tampa swings into high gear on Thursday, February 7 and runs through the 18th. There is so much to do and know that we have put together the low down on the best information you need for your day at the fair.

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The only thing we didn’t include is the antacids for your stomach after you pig out on the fair’s crazy fried-on-a-stick foods.

Dates: February 7 – 18, 2012

Monday – Thursday 10AM   till Close
Friday – Sunday   9:00AM till Close

At Gate Regular Admission Without Advance Discounts

Monday – Friday
Adults Age 12 & Over $10
Children Age 6-11 $5
Ages 5 & Under FREE

Saturday – Sunday
Adults Age 12 & Over $12
Children Age 6-11 $6
Ages 5 & Under FREE

Parking is free at the Florida State Fair.

Cost of Advance Tickets ahead of opening day: $8 adults or $4 ages 6-11. Children 5 and under are FREE. Senior Days are : 11, 12, 13, 14th tickets are $8 on those days ONLY. Advance Senior tickets are $6 and good only on those days.


1.  Online until February 6 at

2.  At Walgreens stores (beginning January 2).

3.  At Florida State Fairgrounds Box Office (discounts through February 6).

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Address and Directions:

East Lake-Orient Park | Tampa FL 33610
(800) 345-3247 |

For driving directions click this link:

Which gate?
There are 3 entrances into the Fairgrounds property: Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., US Hwy. 301 and Orient Road.  MLK, Jr. Blvd. and US Hwy. 301 are only open when there are events ongoing at the Fairgrounds.

Rides will cost you between $3 and $6 each.  Unlimited Ride Armbands will set you back $30 per person and are available to purchase on certain days, unless you buy in advance of Fair opening. There are discount prices for the armbands but they are only on certain days like opening day or the two Pepsi Armband Days. Those days are listed below.

Midway Closing Time:
There is no set closing for the midway it varies by day depending on that day’s scheduled activities and attendance are.

Discount Days –
$20 Midway Ride Armbands – 3PM on opening Day (2/7)
$5 after 5PM Days – Admission is $5 after 5 p.m. Takes place February 7, 12, 13, 14,
Pepsi Armband Days – Bring an empty Diet Mountain Dew can on 2/8 and 2/18 and get a ride armband for $25 (regularly $30).
Senior Days – Feb. 11, 12, 13, 14,   Admission Tickets for Seniors are $8 at the Gate. $6 if bought be fair opens its run. Regular prices are &10 M-F | $12 on  weekends
4-H and FFA Day – FREE Admission for 4-H and FFA Members with Identification or Jacket
Midweek Midway Madness – Armbands $15 after 3PM – Sold at the Fair Only
$30 Midway Ride Armband Day – Feb. 10, 15, & 17

Heroes Day at the Fair
Opening Day 2/7 all active, reserve, or retired Military Veterans, Law Enforcement, Firemen, and First Responders are admitted FREE!

School Days
2/8 – Hillsborough County School Students received a FREE Fair Ticket
2/18 – Surrounding Hillsborough County Students Receive a FREE Fair Ticket

CONCERT – 2/11
“Starship” Featuring Mickey Thomas – Entertainment Hall at 7:30PM
Tickets are $15 and $10 – Does not include Fair Admission
Entertainment Hall at 7:30PM

College Day Concert 2/14
BAND – “Less than Jake” Entertainment Hall at 7:30PM
Tickets are $15 and $10 – Does not include Fair Admission

“Bellamy Brothers” –  Entertainment Hall at 7:30PM
Tickets are $15 and $10 – Does not include Fair Admission

Concert 2/18
“LeAnn Rimes”Acoustic Guitar Performance – Entertainment Hall at 7:30PM
Limited Intimate Table Seating – V.I.P. Table $140 ($35 per ticket) – Table Seats 4 and is sold only by the Table. Call 813-627-4360 to reserve your table now! Premium Seating $30 and Reserved Seating $25 Available Online

Most fair foods are between $4 and $10. There are all the on-a-sticks a person can think of to eat. There are also some new food items at the fair this year that will astound you.

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Free things to do while in Fair:
Xtreme Sports Show
Exhibits, agribusiness and equestrian shows
Cracker Country and the expo area
Exotic petting zoo
Blues Brothers
Dennis Lee
Kachunga & The Alligator
Welde Bear Show
Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show
Racing Pigs
Circus Hollywood
Bluegrass Music Stage
Florida Arts & Craft Show.
Goat and sheep tent and small animal show ring