Welcome to the Florida State Fairgrounds! 4800 U.S. Highway 301 North, Tampa, 33610
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FAQS

What is the Florida State Fairgrounds?
The Florida State Fairgrounds is 330-acres (1.33km2) located adjacent to I-4, and I-75 in the heart of the bustling Tampa Bay area and home of the Florida State Fair. The Fairgrounds facilities host a wide array of events throughout the year, everything from special interest shows and conventions to educational tours and headline entertainment. See our Events Calendar to plan your next visit.

Who owns the Florida State Fairgrounds?
The Florida State Fairgrounds, home of the Florida State Fair is owned and operated by the Florida State Fair Authority which was created under the Florida State Statutes Chapter 616 as an instrumentality of the state under the supervision of the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. The Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors mission is to create positive entertainment experiences and provide opportunities for competition, education and community service through the annual Florida State Fair.
The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Revenue is generated by the annual Florida State Fair as well as the other events that are held on the Fairgrounds throughout the year.

What is the physical address of the Florida State Fairgrounds?
Florida State Fair Authority
4800 U.S. Highway 301 North
Tampa, FL 33610

How do I get to the Fairgrounds?
Click here for detailed driving directions and map.
There are three (3) entrances into the Fairgrounds property.
• U.S. Highway 301
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
• Orient Road / Service Entrance
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and U.S. Highway 301 entrances are only open on event days.
See the Events Calendar for the designated entrance.
Use Orient Road for event move-in or move-out days.
The Orient Road entrance is accessible seven days a week with 24-hour security present.
HART Bus schedule information can be found on www.gohart.org or by calling the Information Line at (813) 254-4278.
Closest stops are Orient Road, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, or U.S. Highway 301.

Where can I park?
Please see our Events Calendar for parking information for each event. Parking for the disabled require a designated license plate or hangtag.

Are there facilities to eat and shop?
Many of the events hosted on the fairgrounds will provide opportunities to eat and/or shop. Permanent concession stands are in all larger facilities. See the Events Calendar for event information.

How can I bring my event to the Florida State Fairgrounds?
The Fairgrounds facilities can meet the needs of any event, large or small. Our management, staff and contracted service providers offer custom-tailored programs to facilitate the success of your event. See our Facilities Overview for detailed information about our buildings and accommodations.
1. Fill out an event request form. CLICK here for an event request form.
2. Email the event request form to Janice.Riley@floridastatefair.com or Fax to (813) 740-3504.
An estimate will be provided based on your needs. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Sales Department at (813) 621-7821 ext. 4218 or 4395.

Who can I contact to provide catering services for my event at the Florida State Fairgrounds?
Centerplate is our exclusive provider of all food and beverage services except Festivals or ethnic cultural celebrations. For all catering and concession needs for events at the Fairgrounds, contact Mike Rodgers, General Manager, by phone (813) 626-5600 or by email to Michael.Rodgers@centerplate.com.

What are the nearest hotels?

What is the Florida State Fairgrounds connection to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre?
The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre leases seventeen (17) acres of the Florida State Fairgrounds and is managed by Live Nation, “the world’s leading live entertainment company”. For information about ticket prices or upcoming shows, visit their website at www.LIVENATION.com or call (813) 740-2446.
MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre Address: 4802 US Highway 301 North, Tampa, FL 33610

Where can I park for MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre concerts and shows?
Parking lots are located adjacent to the Amphitheatre and for your convenience parking is included in the ticket price. Premier parking may be purchased on a per show basis. Price varies. Contact the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre for more information.

When is the next Florida State Fair Authority public meeting?
Please see our Public Meetings menu for more information.

What is the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center?
The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center is located on the northwest side of the Florida State Fairgrounds which can be accessed through the Orient Road entrance. The expertly designed grounds provide easy access to the rings and stalls making it a premier show facility for competitions. The equestrian center includes exercise grounds, warm-up rings, two covered show rings, and a Gran Prix Ring. The 11,000 square foot climate controlled pavilion can accommodate banquets and festival seating overlooking the main show rings. For more information please contact the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at (813) 627-4217 or email Jim Coones at Jim.Coones@freshfromflorida.com

When is the best time to visit the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center?
Most weekends the Equestrian Center is buzzing with activity has horse and rider compete. Forty-six (46) out of fifty-two (52) weekends are filled with competitions, most of which are free to spectators. Visit the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center Event Calendar for details.

What is the Agribusiness Department?
The Agribusiness Department is the Livestock portion of the Florida State Fair. The Agribusiness Department at the Florida State Fair coordinates all Open and Youth farm animal shows. This includes Beef, Steer, Dairy, Sheep, Swine, Dairy Goat, Boer Goat, Pygmy Goat, Poultry, Rabbit, Llama, and Dog. We offer both Open & Youth shows in all species except for the Steer, Swine, and Dog which are only Youth shows. Our goal is to provide quality competitive programs representing Florida’s vast Agricultural community. Through the Florida State Fair Champion Animals and Champion Youth program, Florida 4-H & FFA youth exhibitors have the opportunity to participate in our unique educational programs that teach animal husbandry, bookkeeping, public speaking and numerous other real life skills. Not only can the exhibitors earn animal premiums but by participating in the educational activities they can earn additional achievement premiums. On the final day of the Fair, the top 32 Senior Champion Youth Exhibitors compete to be the “Best of the Best” in the final Round Robin competition. This is a prestigious event that honors our youth as well as the support of donors. Our exhibitors, both youth and adult do a tremendous job of showcasing Florida Agriculture to our diverse Florida State Fair audience.

When is the best time to visit the Agribusiness Department?
During the annual Florida State Fair, the Agribusiness Department will host student tours covering a wide variety of educational exhibits from agriculture to history to the environment. We invite 1st - 5th grade classes to join us for an "Educational Experience" at Florida's Largest Classroom.
For additional information contact the Agribusiness Department at 813-621-7821 ext. 4341, ext. 4339 or visit www.FloridaStateFairAg.com.

During non-fair time the Agribusiness Department offers third grade students, in Hillsborough County, an educational opportunity by attending our Ag Venture, also known as Ag in the Classroom, the program gives students from public, private and home schools a chance to touch, taste, and see Florida Agriculture in a fun-filled atmosphere. From transplanting plants and squeezing oranges, to learning about farm animals first-hand, there is plenty to engage students in this Florida Agricultural experience. This program is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Extension, Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, Florida State Fair Authority and Florida’s Agriculture Commodity Organizations. All school tours must be booked in advance prior to arrival. For additional information contact the Agribusiness Department at 813-621-7821 ext. 4341, ext. 4339 or visit www.FloridaStateFairAg.com.

What is Cracker Country?
Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country is a living history museum located on the Florida State Fairgrounds. When you visit Cracker Country you will discover the original historical buildings of the early 1900’s in rural Florida. The museum holds a collection of thirteen original buildings dating from 1870-1912. The buildings range from public buildings like the Terry Store and the Okahumpka Train Depot, to private buildings like our Carlton and Smith homes. Imagine it’s the year of 1898 and you have just settled in rural Florida. What would you be doing, seeing, and experiencing? To find out, step through our doorway into history and “Discover the Past!”
For additional information or to reserve an education program or tour, contact Cracker Country, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (813) 627-4225 or visit www.CrackerCountry.org.

When is the best time to visit Cracker Country?
Cracker Country is open to the general public on the following days:
Cracker Country opens its gates to Fair attendees throughout the 12 days of the Fair and is included in the price of general admission. During the Florida State Fair, February 8-19, 2018 the museum closes at 6 p.m. daily.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day – Stay tuned for the 2018 event details.
Cracker Country participates in this annual national event, offering FREE admission to guests who download a coupon at the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live! Website.

Christmas in the Country – Stay tuned for the 2018 event details.
How did rural Americans celebrate Christmas before malls, e-cards and twinkly electric lights? Come experience a 19th century Florida Christmas at this annual holiday event.

Cracker Country Education Programs

Homeschool Day – Designed for students of all ages. Stay tuned for 2018 event details.

“Pioneers and Cowhunters”
Cracker Country welcomes homeschoolers and their families to experience activities that would have been familiar to a child growing up in a Florida farming and ranching community over 100 years ago. Try your hand at churning butter, helping with the household chores, making your own toy and taking a lesson in a one-room school house. Learn some “cowhunter” skills, like how to swing a lasso and what to pack for a long cattle drive.


Rural Home Life School Tours – Designed for first through fifth grade students.
Take a step back in time while we engage, inspire, and educate your students! Bring your students and discover the daily lives of Florida’s pioneers. Spend the morning immersed in a rural Florida community of the past and learn how a late 19th century rural family survived. Try your hand at farm and household chores, explore community buildings and learn the skills of Florida’s pioneers. Students will take back to their modern world knowledge of the differences and similarities between their lives and those of children in 1898. All groups will dip a candle, make a class jump-rope and shop in our Cracker Country General Store.

Frontier Florida Industry Tours – Designed for fourth grade students and up.
What makes Florida a good place to raise cattle? What resources do we get from the forests around us? Why was steam power important to 19th century Floridians? Are oranges native to Florida? Students will discover how some of Florida’s early industries were shaped by the natural resources of our state. This new program features guided tours through our permanent exhibits, featuring the Florida Cattle Ranching, 500 Years of Tradition, The Power of Steam and the Florida Forest Discovery Center. Students will experience working stationary steam engines, make a leather craft in our Florida Cow Camp, and take part in activities designed to complement the exhibits and enhance student participation.

Long Ago and Today – Designed for Pre-K and Kindergarten students
Bring your students and discover how long ago compares to today. Learn how farmers farmed, how story tellers told tall tales, and how travelers traveled 100 years ago. Students will get to explore some of Cracker Country’s historic structures and participate in hands-on fun all while learning the similarities and differences between today and long ago. Your group will have a guide, dressed in clothing accurate to the 1890s, to lead their adventure. All groups will take home a textile craft, see our chickens and explore our newly remodeled caboose.

Florida History Tours
Bring your scout troupe, book club or garden club, family or friends for a personalized guided visit! Step back in time and enjoy as an experienced guide leads you on an adventure that brings rural Florida’s history to life. Experience guides share the stories of Florida’s pioneers while touring you through Cracker Country’s original structures. Tours may be reserved for groups of 15 or more. Take a stroll back in time as you experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Florida’s history.

For additional information or to reserve an education program or tour, contact Cracker Country, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (813) 627-4225 or visit www.CrackerCountry.org.


What is the new Florida’s learning garden?
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful has teamed up with the Florida State Fair Fairgrounds to develop an interactive Learning Garden. The garden will feature different types of growing mechanisms illustrating the variety of ways food can be grown in Florida as well as aesthetic and practical uses of Florida friendly landscaping. The innovative project provides job training, youth involvement, Florida friendly plants and healthy foods through an exciting partnership with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, the Florida State Fairgrounds and many others. The food grown will be donated to food banks and distributed in low-income neighborhoods. Plants will be utilized in beautification projects throughout Hillsborough County. The Learning Garden will also be used for student workshops and volunteer training. During the Florida State Fair the garden will be open for Fair visitors to tour the garden and view the different ways to create green space that inspire gardens at home or in public spaces throughout Florida.
If you would like to donate or sponsor the learning garden, contact Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful at (813) 221-8733 or by email to info@keeptbb.org.
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