This weekend, we got to enjoy dozens of exciting attractions at the Florida State Fair with our dearest friends Krissy and Kaleen. Taking to heart the theme for this year's fair, "Picture Yourself at the Fair," we dove straight into the colorful chaos and made lots of lasting memories--all captured in 360-degrees! 

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Florida State Fair's History

Started in Tampa in 1904 to promote the state's agricultural industry, the Florida State Fair has become a favorite yearly event among many Floridians who enjoy its hundreds of agricultural exhibitions, contests, thrill rides, food oddities, games, and shows. Originally called the Mid-Winter Fair, The Florida State Fair is now in its 113th year and still continues to attract hundreds of thousands of patrons.

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Childhood Nostalgia

At times, roaming around the fairgrounds can feel like an authentic Americana experience. The fair features many century-old attractions that are becoming more and more difficult to find anywhere else. It was refreshing to see thrill rides still decorated with handpainted artwork, a circus under an actual big top tent, and variants of classic carnival games such as dart games, ring-a-bottle, high striker, and shoot around the star.

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Fair Food

Of course, we can't forget about the food kiosks that filled the air with delicious smells of fried fair foods. Trying the various peculiar snacks offered at the fair is an essential experience for any fairgoer. This year's long list of strange treats includes enchilada funnel cake, Nutella Oreo sundae, and steak sundae (yes, it's a sundae made of meat). We, of course, ended up with a banana split sundae and thin potato chips smothered in cheese and bacon--unoriginal but timeless fair favorites, nonetheless.

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The Rides

A great state fair experience is not complete without the real big rides. This year's fair will debut the largest traveling ferris wheel in North America called the Midway Sky Eye. At 155 feet high, riders will get the chance to see more than 15 miles of magnificent vistas across Tampa Bay from the top of the wheel. Unfortunately, the Midway Sky Eye was still not operational during our visit, but it should be available to fairgoers really soon!

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Although we didn't get to ride the towering Midway Sky eye, we still enjoyed some fun rides such as the Air Flyer. It may not have been nearly as high as the Midway (and the Air Flyer was really just a typical carnival ride), but it still provided us a wonderful way to enjoy the sunset over Tampa while spinning really fast in the air. 

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Kid Friendly Attractions

Quite frankly, we were a bit scared to try the bigger rides, but for the more adventurous fairgoers, they can always ride the fair's many gravity-defying attractions such as the Space Roller, Zero Gravity, Orbiter, Cyclone, and Dream Catcher. For parents who feel intimidated by the names of the rides we mentioned, the good news is that kids also have their own section at the fair where they get to ride mini-rollercoasters, carousels, slides, and ferris wheels.   

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This year's fair opened on February 9th and will remain open until February 20th. There's still plenty of time to enjoy the event so start planning your visit. Now it's your turn to picture yourself at the fair and make your own memories!


 ***Bring enough cash to purchase food and tickets for rides and games. But don't worry if you forget to bring money, there are ATMs available at the fairgrounds for your convenience.

***Parking is free and there is plenty of space even for RVs, but make sure you arrive early because traffic can get bad; it can take a while to get into the venue and find a parking spot. Since the parking lot is massive, it is important to remember where you park.

***There's going to be a lot of walking involved, so dress comfortably. It can get chilly at night, so it's a good idea to bring a jacket.

To see the complete list of rides, ticket prices, event schedule and more, please visit:

 For directions, please click on the map below:

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