Florida State Fair 2023: What to know before you go

Florida State Fair

Watch the sunset with us atop this coaster.

Photo via Florida State Fair

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Florida State Fair 2023 is upon us, TBAY. It starts today and runs through Feb. 20, with fried food, rollercoasters, and entertainment for your whole squad to enjoy. Here’s what you need to know before you go:

🎟 Hours, tickets, parking

  • The fair runs for 12 days, and gates open at 11 a.m. + close shortly after 9 p.m.
  • Tickets are available online. Admission costs $15 for adults, and children ages five and under get in free.
  • You can also purchase tickets at select Wawa locations.
  • Parking is free, and you can enter from the entrances at Orient Road, Martin Luther King Boulevard., and US 301.
  • Type 4800 US Hwy. 301 N., Tampa into your GPS, and it should take you to the fun at the Florida State Fairgrounds. 🍗 Fried fair fare and other eats
Florida State Fair Cuban Funnel Sandwich

You’ve tried the Cuban sandwich, now dig into the Cuban funnel cake sandwich.

Photo via Florida State Fair

One of the biggest draws to the fair is always the food. From classics like cotton candy and funnel cakes to unique deep-fried alligator and turkey legs — there’s something for everyone. Here’s a couple of new foods we’re excited to try:

  • Tampa Cuban funnel cake sandwich
    • This decadent sandy features Spanish pork, ham, salami, cheese, pickles, and mustard, all pressed together between two glazed funnel cakes.
  • Walking nacho dog
    • Feeling a little spicy? This hot dog packs a punch with juicy jalapenos, crunchy chips, and a decadent cheese sauce.
  • Cookie taco supreme
    • Calling all sweet-tooths, this one’s for you. A warm gooey chocolate chip cookie cradles a scoop of creamy s’mores ice cream and is crowned with crumbled Oreos and drizzled in chocolate sauce — creating the perfect combo of crunch and cream. Plus, it’s topped with a dollop of whipped cream delight.

🎢 The rides and entertainment

Florida State Fair

See you at the top.

Photo via Florida State Fair

Alright now, this one’s for the mems. In addition to the cornucopia of food, there are also several exciting rides and shows this year.

For thrill-seekers, we recommend these rides: Street Fighter 360, Wipeout, RC-48 Coaster, and of course, the Midway Sky Eye wheel. (Depending on which ticket you buy, certain rides cost extra.)

And if coasters aren’t your speed, there are plenty of shows and exhibits to watch.

Start your day off with a warm and fuzzy feeling with the Otter Adventure on the Entertainment Hall Pad. Watch Otters perform stunts, swim, and play with their trainers.

As you walk around, you might see a man with a set of drums, a harmonica, and perhaps some stringed instruments attached to his body. That’s “One Man Band.” He strolls around every day of the fair, providing enchanting tunes, throwing dance parties, and setting the fair’s mood.

If you’re looking for something a little bit more dangerous, brace yourselves. Get ready to rev your engines + hold on tight for the fair’s most explosive thrill ride, the demolition derby. This high-octane event is full of crashing cars and flying metal and has multiple show times.

*Tons of events are happening on the Fairgrounds for the next few weeks. Let us know what you’re excited to see.

📝 Game plan

Florida State Fair

Be on the lookout for combo meals and specials.

Photo via The Florida State Fair

Use this map to help plan out your visit. Pro tip: Whatever you do, give yourself plenty of time to explore (it’s going to be crowded, but that’s part of the fun), bring sunscreen + wear your stretchy pants and comfy shoes.

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