The 2023 Florida State Fair

The 119th Florida State Fair is coming to Tampa again, from February 9 through February 20, and as always, promises to be an amazing event that everyone can enjoy. With a variety of attractions and activities, the fair is sure to provide a fun and family-friendly atmosphere. From carnival rides and games, to live entertainment and delicious food, there’s something for everyone in Tampa to look forward to. Whether you’re a local living at nearby Compton Place or just passing through, don’t miss out on all that the 2023 Florida State Fair, one of the oldest fairs in the United States, has to offer! 

History of the Florida State Fair 

Florida State Fairgrounds Entrance.
Florida State Fairgrounds Entrance Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Florida State Fair has a long and rich history dating back to 1904. It is one of the oldest and longest-running state fairs in the United States. The first fair was held in Brevard County, specifically in Tampa, and it has been held there ever since. Over the years, the fair has grown to include livestock shows, arts and crafts exhibits, midway rides, agricultural displays, live entertainment, competitive events, educational opportunities, and so much more. The event is an incredible celebration of Florida’s culture, history, and industry. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people come together to enjoy the bustling Florida State Fair and all that it has to offer. It is a time-honored tradition that continues to bring people together in fun, exciting, and educational ways. 


What to Expect 

Ferris wheel at dusk.

Taking place in Tampa, FL, from February 9-20, the outdoor fair has something for everyone. With over 200 exhibits, events, and attractions, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your interests. Admission prices for the fair are $15 for adults, $10 for children aged 6-11 and seniors aged 60 and over, and children aged five and under can enter for free. Parking is available for $10 per car or RV. The fair is open every day from 10am until 8pm, with extended hours on certain days – keep an eye on their website for more information. With so much to see and do at the fair, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to check out all the attractions. Make sure to arrive early to maximize your time and avoid long lines at the most popular attractions. 

Exciting Attractions 

Tilt A Whirl Cart ride.

The 2023 Florida State Fair will be packed with exciting new attractions that are sure to delight fairgoers of all ages. Guests can look forward to experiencing a new type of thrills on the “Tilt-A-Whirl” ride, which offers a modern twist on a classic carnival favorite. The grounds will also be featuring an “Aerobatic Thrill Show” where daredevils fly through the sky with an array of incredible tricks and stunts.  

Creepy Crawlers and Fantastic Flyers 

In addition to thrilling rides and shows, the fair will be introducing its first-ever “Reptile Exhibit,” featuring over 200 species of reptiles from around the world. There will also be a “Bird World” exhibit which offers visitors the opportunity to view hundreds of birds in one place, as well as a “Butterfly House” that invites guests to observe up close the beauty and grace of these graceful creatures.  

For Kids & Kids-At-Heart 

Children are sure to have a blast in the “Kids Zone,” which has been newly redesigned with even more attractions than before, including a mini-Ferris wheel, trampoline park, and inflatable obstacle course. Plus, for all you gamers out there, there will be a “Video Game Arena” for all ages featuring the latest in virtual reality gaming experiences. Whether you’re looking for thrills or chills, the 2023 Florida State Fair is sure to have something for everyone! 

Returning Favorites 

Swing carousel spinning people around on swings.

Since the first fair in 1904, many of the fan favorites have returned each year. From classic fair attractions such as a Ferris Wheel, carousel, and merry-go-round to high-flying thrills on the Mega Drop and Mega Flip, the Florida State Fair always offers something for everyone.  

Livestock Shows & Shopping 

Family looking at goat under fairground tent.

The livestock shows and competitions are also popular returning favorites. Spectators can witness exciting events such as harness racing, dairy shows, pig races, dog shows, and more. For those who enjoy shopping, the Florida State Fair hosts the State Fair Mall with over 100 vendors offering unique souvenirs, apparel, and other merchandise.  

Agricultural Extravaganzas 

For those seeking more educational opportunities, the Florida State Fair is also home to the Ag-Venture Barnyard. This interactive exhibit teaches visitors about modern agricultural practices through hands-on activities and demonstrations. In addition to all these attractions and events, visitors can also look forward to taking part in the annual scavenger hunt or checking out the various exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History.  

Satisfy Your Hunger 

Person holding out funnel cake with whipped cream on top.

Food is an important part of any state fair, and the Florida State Fair does not disappoint. With dozens of different concessions stands to choose from, visitors can sample traditional fair favorites such as funnel cakes, fried Oreos, cotton candy, corndogs, and of course the famous deep-fried turkey legs. But if you’re looking for something a little more creative, don’t worry – there are plenty of unique options too, like waffle ice cream sandwiches, BBQ nachos, pulled pork fries, and even a few vegan options like eggplant “parmesan” bites and spicy black bean burgers. The food selection at the Florida State Fair ensures that there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for somewhere to grab some grub either before or after the fair, check out some of our favorite Tampa spots for foodies.  

Live Entertainment 

Musicians view of drum set.

The Florida State Fair will be packed with live entertainment for all ages to enjoy. Whether you’re a music fan, an avid circus goer, or just want to be entertained, the Fair has you covered. Music fans will be in for a real treat, as the Fair has booked a variety of bands and musicians to perform across its stages. Rock, country, pop, and hip-hop – no matter what your preferred genre is, there’s sure to be something that will please your ear. Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to sing along with some of the best performers from around the state.  

For the Kids 

If you’re looking for something more family-friendly, you can check out the variety of kids’ sing-a-longs, clowns, magicians, and more. It’s sure to be a great way for parents and guardians to spend quality time with their children at the Fair. 

Fun & Exciting 

In addition to these more traditional live entertainment options, you may also run into some buskers and other street performers on the walkways. These talented individuals add an extra layer of excitement to the atmosphere and are sure to please passersby. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience the best acts in the state! 

Tips for Visiting 

Refillable water bottle lying on grass.

When planning your trip to the 2023 Florida State Fair, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience. First, it’s important to remember that you’ll be outside all day, so make sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. If you can bring a refillable water bottle with you, that would be ideal. Additionally, wear comfortable shoes and clothing that can withstand getting a little sweaty or dirty or wet.  

It’s also important to note that certain items are prohibited at the fair. You should leave any glass containers, weapons, illegal drugs or materials, animals (except certified service animals), and professional cameras or recording equipment at home. Most importantly, it’s important to remember that there is no smoking, alcohol, or outside food allowed anywhere at the fair. 

To help you get the most out of your visit, there will be guest services kiosks throughout the fair. Here, you can ask any questions you may have about the fair and pick up a map for navigating around the fairgrounds.