Florida State Fair 2024 Details You Need to Know

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February in Florida means state fair days! Happening in Tampa, in southwest Florida, the fair takes place February 8 through the 19 in 2024.

Over the two weeks the fair is in session, visitors ride the thrills, eat the sweets, pet the animals, see the arts, hear the songs, learn the histories…and walk off the calories.

Fair organizers say that some 300,000 visitors will pass through the entry gates. Daily scheduled performances and events will keep us entertained, and of course there’s the food and rides, too. 




Gate admission prices are valid for one day only. Adult admission for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (weekend) is priced at $16.00, while admission for Monday through Thursday (weekday) is $12. Weekend child admission for $11 and weekday child admission is $6. Senior Day admission is $11.00. 

See prices for armbands and fast pass, and find other details about tickets on the official Florida State Fair website’s ticket page

If you’re planning for 2025’s fair, you’ll want to check the fair’s website in December and January. Discount tickets (discounted gate admission and discounted armbands) are sold leading up to the event. You can save money if you purchase your tickets in advance. Sign up for the fair’s marketing emails, check the Facebook page, and of course save money before the deadline hits. 

Map & Finding Your Way

The fairgrounds are packed with all kinds of structures, areas, and avenues. Here’s a map from the fair organizers to make sure you don’t get lost!

Discount Days

Some days are better than others at the fair, if we’re talking about admission and ride prices! We’re reposting the details we know about here, but you should also doublecheck these details on the fair’s official website. We’ll update the list if we hear about any of those extra discounts we hear about, like free or discounted admission when you bring a canned food donation or a can of soda. So far, we don’t see any news of those kinds of promotions.

Heroes Day

Opening day, February 8, 2024, is free for people involved in military (active military and veterans), law enforcement, and first response. You must show a valid ID to receive this discount.

Super Savings Sunday

On February 11, 2024, military (active military and veterans), law enforcement professionals, and first responders are able to enter the fair for free with a valid ID. Admission is also free to anyone who purchases an Anyride Ride Armband ($42) after 3:00 p.m. 

Senior Days

Persons 55 and over can go to the fair for $11 a day, Mondays to Fridays. We’re guessing you also need to show ID to prove your age, especially now that 60 is the new 40. Right?

$3 Thursday

Just like the name implies, admission on Thursday is $3. What’s also $3 is select rides, games, and food items. Well, that only applies for February 15, 2024, and only after 3:00 p.m. 

Family Day

Bring the family on February 16, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Seventeen year olds and all the kiddos under 17 get free admission to the fair with a parent or guardian who pays full-price admission. 

Kid’s Day

On February 19, 2024, young people 17 and under will be able to enter the fair with free admission, as long as they are with an admission-paying parent or guardian. This parent or guardian needs to be 21 or older and show valid ID to prove their age. 

Youth Policy

Young people are absolutely welcome to come to the fair — as attendees and participants in livestock and creative living activities. However, the fair organizers have instituted a policy for young people that is enforced all 12 days of the fair.

The policy is that after 6:00 p.m., youths aged 17 and younger must be accompanied on fairgraounds by a parent or guardian who has paid admission. This parent or guardian must be 21 years or older and have a valid ID. 

The fair organizers also state that a parent or guardian is allowed to supervise only up to four young people (aged 17 and under). No one is asking m opinion, but I’ll share it: I can barely keep track of my two nephews — I don’t think I could even think about bringing and being responsible for four! 

Parking and Main Gates

Parking at the fair is free. There is a large lot that wraps around the east side of the fairgrounds. A separate parking lot for agriculture needs is on the west side of the fairgrounds, near the livestock pavilions and barns. 

There are three main gates to enter from, each approachable from the main parking lot. Use Gate 3 if to enter closer to the Florida Learning Gardens and the agriculture areas. Use Gate 2 to enter closer to the Ferris wheel, giant slide, and The Mall. Use Gate 1 to be closer to the Expo Hall, Entertainment Hall, and Midway.

Thrill Rides

No one goes to the fair without getting on at least one ride, right? Rides and Midway attractions are priced by ticket. Alpine Bob’s ride costs five tickets, the Sizzler costs four tickets, and the Berry Go Round costs three tickets. If you want to get on more than one (or all!) of these rides, you might want to buy an Unlimited Ride Wristband. (These armbands don’t include the cost of admission.) 

What kind of rides can you expect? There are so many slow-thrill rides for kids, like the Wacky Worm Coaster and the Swamp Gator, and train-like rides of all sorts of styles. Spinning rides will be there, so you can spin in a teacup, a berry, or a taxi cab. Rock left and right and upside down in a pirate ship, a guitar, and a ring. Have your body flung against the wall in he human centrifuge, the Starship 400. Slide down the Giant Slide or the Super Slide. Walk through the Wacky Shack or the Mardi Gras. Just too many rides to list.

OH, wait, just one more. The Venetian Carousel. It’s two levels of horses, bunnies, and other creatures, all magically lit and gliding up and down to a haunting tune. It’s deserving of at least two rides. 

All of the rides Wade Shows Inc is setting up on the fairgrounds, height restrictions, and ticket information can be found on their event webpage.

Creative Living & Crafts

The crafts portion of the fair, called Creative Living, is the backbone of the state fair. Just like in Charlotte’s Web, people all over the state work hard all year long to perfect their arts and crafts skills and make their submission to the annual competitions. Whether it be an aquarium or a turned piece of wood, or a quilt or a diorama, creative and talented Floridians showcase their work for the rest of us to see.

Most of the submissions have already been displayed and judged, and they’re ready for us. The Plein Air painting contest will take place on February 13, and the Cake Decorating contest will take place on February 17. 

Plein air is painting done outside, usually of a landscape or activity that is in view of the painter. At the fair, professionals, semi-professionals and amateur artists will set up around the fairgrounds and paint what they see. Artists will either be painting a full-sized painting or a 6″ by 4″ postcard. Their goal is to capture the “Spirit of the Fair,” and their work will be displayed until the end of the fair. And visitors who want to buy the paintings can talk to the artist about prices and details.

When I was younger, my mother loved taking us up and down the aisles of the craft area at the Central Florida Fair. Now that I’m older, it’s still one of my favorite parts of the fair. 


The 2024 state fair will of course have all the usual food options, including some really fun and interesting new offerings. Expect Italian specialties, sweet treats, lots of lemonade, and deep fried goodies. Visitors to the fair will also find Latin flavors, vegan and vegetarian options, healthier smoothies, and baked options.

Remember, the beauty of fair food is its indulgence and variety. So, grab a friend, explore the options, and savor the experience!

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