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Homeschool Day at Cracker Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

HOMESCHOOL DAY at CRACKER COUNTRY featuring Make and Take Crafts!

(March 23, 2017, Tampa, FL) Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country invites home educators and students to participate in Homeschool Day on April 18 from 10am until 2pm on the grounds of the Florida State Fair, 4800 US Highway 301 North, in Tampa.

Children of all ages can learn about the lives of Florida settlers who arrived before the turn of the 20th century through hands-on activities that were common for youngsters growing up in a Florida farming community at that time.

Back by popular demand, the theme of the event is Make and Take Crafts.

Educators in historic dress will be on hand to welcome guests to the 1885 Carlton House, railroad depot, general store, church and other authentic structures. Young learners can make their own toys, dolls and helpful items for the household. They also will learn to operate an early 20th century printing press and make their own postcard.

Homeschool Day activities are designed to capture the interests of students of all ages. Groups set their own pace and choose their level of participation.

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.crackercountry.org. Admission is $8 for individuals aged four years and older. Children three years of age and younger are free. There is no charge for parking for this event. Enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance.

Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country is a rural Florida living history museum located at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The museum includes a collection of 13 original buildings dating from 1870-1912 on four acres of grounds and gardens.

For more information, visit www.crackercountry.org or call 813-627-4225

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Champion of Champions Winner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

2017 Champion of Champions Winner Honored at Florida State Fair

(February 22, 2017, Tampa, FL) For the past 20 years, the Florida State Fair has paid homage to its agricultural roots by sponsoring the Champion of Champions program, which provides youth exhibitors the opportunity not only to show their prize-winning animals but to participate in educational opportunities and earn achievement and animal premiums. On February 20, the final day of the Fair, the top 32 senior champion youth exhibitors competed to be named the Champion of Champions. The 2017 winner is Ainsley Peterson from Mayo, who received a $1,500 cash prize.

Ainsley also received third place in the Youth Swine Show, which earned her an additional $250 cash award.

The top four Senior Exhibitors in Steer, Sheep, Goat, Beef, Swine, Rabbit, Dairy and Poultry Youth Shows are invited to participate in the Champion of Champions program. They then compete in a round-robin contest to demonstrate their knowledge of eight different species.

“Participants must be prepared to answer questions not only about the species that they exhibited, but about any of the other seven species,” explains Lynann Hudson, Agribusiness manager for the Florida State Fair Authority.

“Subject matter is on a four-year rotation and includes products and marketing, nutrition, reproduction and health,” she adds. “To be successful requires a commitment to learning as well as the ability to articulate that knowledge.”

Cady McGehee of Okeechobee earned second place and a $1,250 cash prize in the Champion of Champions competition. Sydni Sinka of Dade City came in third and received $1,000. Fourth place and $750 went to Michael Fioretto of Bradenton, while Abigail Clapp of Punta Gorda claimed fifth place and $500. Tierani Johnson of Land O Lakes came in sixth and received $250.

The prizes were handed out at the Champion of Champions banquet in the Special Events Center during the Fair on Monday. Lisa Hinton, executive director for the Florida Federation of Fairs served as the event’s emcee. Hinton previously served as Director of Agribusiness for the Florida State Fair and was instrumental in developing the Champion of Champions program.

“All of these students here tonight are champions,” Hinton told attendees at the dinner. “They have competed against over 1,200 other students in their individual shows and have earned the right to be here tonight.

“These students started with an animal project months ago,” she said. “They purchased an animal, trained it for show, washed it, groomed it and fed it every day. Next they exhibited their animals here at the State Fair and took the challenge of entering the Champion Youth Program.

“In order to be here tonight these young people have excelled in all areas,” Hinton stressed.

The event also included the presentation of five $1,000 Florida State Fair Agricultural scholarships, which were presented by Florida State Fair Authority Executive Director Cheryl F. Flood and Board Chairman Doyle E. Carlton, III. Champion of Champions award winners McGehee and Fioretto were joined by Nicole Falk of Edgewater and Casey Wingate and Genaveve Henson from Myakka in receiving these scholarships.

“As a child, I raised steers for the Polk County Youth Fair,” Flood notes, “and went on to show cattle at the Florida State Fair. I know how hard these youth work and am proud to be able to reward their efforts with these scholarships and other incentives.”

In addition, Kayleigh Heather of Dade City received a scholarship from Mosaic and Joshua Case Birge of Graceville was the recipient of the Jan Dillard Memorial Scholarship.

The 2018 Florida State Fair will be held February 8 to 19.

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Caption: Caption: The Champion of Champions banquet was held in the Special Events Center during the Fair on Monday. From left: Florida State Fair Authority Board Chairman Doyle E. Carlton, III, Champion of Champions winner Ainsley Peterson, Cady McGehee, Sydni Sinka, Michael Fioretto, Abigail Clapp and Nikki Foster from Mosaic, the presenting sponsor.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Thanks for a great Fair!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

2017 Florida State Fair Celebrates Successful Year, Increased Attendance

(February 21, 2017, Tampa, FL) The 2017 Florida State Fair, the first event with Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) Executive Director Cheryl Flood at the helm, closed Monday after a successful run. Unaudited numbers show the fair ending with an 11.4 percent increase in attendance over 2016 and solid gate and midway revenue.

“I am so excited we were able to share the Fair with so many fellow Floridians,” said Flood, who assumed her position in September. “We placed a renewed focus on family entertainment, booking Shopkins and other kids’ entertainment. We had a huge success the last weekend with a Peppa Pig Meet and Greet.”

In addition to the children’s characters, the 2017 Fair also featured the largest variety of entertainment ever, including Sea Lion Splash, Sweet: A Tasty Journey – a museum quality exhibit exploring candy in pop culture, K-9s in Flight, Circus Hollywood under the Big Top, the Welde’s Big Bear Show, the Winter National Championship Lawnmower races, the Florida State Fair Championship Tractor Pull, Budweiser Clydesdales, Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country, concerts and top quality agricultural exhibits.

“Agriculture is at the heart of what we do,” said Doyle E. Carlton, III, FSFA Chairman. “We crowned our new Champion of Champions, Ainsley Peterson, a young lady from Mayo and showcased thousands of youth participants from all over the state. Our barns and buildings including Salute to Agriculture, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Florida Ranch and Cattleman’s Exhibit and Agriculture Hall of Fame were filled with the best that Florida has to offer and we were delighted to demonstrate our rich agricultural and cultural heritage to so many people,” said Carlton.

Fair management already is at work planning an even bigger and better 2018 fair.

“With the first fair under my belt, and feedback from our guests and staff, I am excited to bring more of the best in family entertainment to the fair. I can’t wait for next year and the exciting new things we are going to offer our guests,” Flood concluded.

The 2018 Florida State Fair will run February 8 – 19.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority

The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

Caption: Giannah James, 3, of Valrico could barely contain her excitement at meeting Peppa Pig and her younger brother George at the Florida State Fair on Sunday. The appearance by the Nick Jr. stars was part of the new focus on children’s entertainment at the Florida State Fair.

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Salute to Black History

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com

Florida State Fair and Hillsborough County Public Schools Host Salute to Black History exhibit and performances
Features an appearance by NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dungy

(Tampa, FL – February 7, 2017) – Bestselling author and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, who was the first African American head coach to win a Super Bowl, will make an appearance at the Florida State Fair with his wife Lauren Friday, February 10 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. as part of the Florida State Fair Salute to Black History presented by the Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Office of Diversity and the Florida State Fair Black History Community Committee.

Dungy, who retired from coaching in 2008, has been involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Mentors for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs and others. Dungy and his wife, who have nine children, also are the founders of the Dungy Family Foundation, which works to strengthen, sustain and empower communities by providing opportunities to those in need.

Based in Tampa, Tony and Lauren Dungy are among those who inspired this year’s theme for the Salute to Black History – “Celebrating Local & National African-American Legacies.” Friday’s schedule also includes artistic and musical performances by students and community members in the Botanical Gardens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. India White, an author and assistant principal in HCPS, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

In addition to the performances, there will be exhibits by Hillsborough County Public School students in the Florida Center for all 12 days of the Fair. The 27 displays, including 19 from local schools, include a collection of videos depicting prominent African Americans and their contributions for equality in Tampa, news clippings from the historical sit-ins for equality in downtown Tampa, and a pictorial display of the lives and contributions of local educators including Doretha Edgecomb and Dr. Lewis Brinson.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Hillsborough County Public School system to highlight the important contributions made by these local African American leaders to improve not only our surrounding communities, but the State of Florida and our country as a whole,” said Doyle E. Carlton III, Chairman of the Board for the Florida State Fair Authority.

Celebrating Local & National African-American Legacies
Friday, February 10
Florida Center/Botanical Gardens

Tony and Lauren Dungy
10 – 11:30 a.m.

Kan Dance Studio
10 a.m.

Salvation Army Brass Band
Salvation Army – Monologue “Ain’t I a Woman?”
11 a.m.

Bles’d Productions: Song and dance, entertainer portrayals: Smokey Robinson, Dr. King, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and others
noon

Black on Black Rhyme: Poetry and Music with Hillsborough County Poetry Jam winners
1 p.m.

Howard W. Blake Warrior Poets
2 p.m.

Dynasty: Hip Hop Artist
3 p.m.

In addition, AM 1150WTMP.com will be broadcasting live from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets for the Florida State Fair are available for purchase online www.FloridaStateFair.com, in person at the Fairground’s Box Office, by phone, at 1-800-345-FAIR (1-800-345-3247), or at participating Walgreens throughout the state until February 8.

The 113th Florida State Fair will be held February 9 through the 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa. This year’s theme, “Picture Yourself at the Fair,” emphasizes all of the unforgettable moments waiting to be captured. The Florida State Fair offers non-stop fun AND an excellent value with more than 100 things to see and do included in the price of admission – and always free parking.

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2017 Wall of Fame Honorees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com

Florida State Fair to Honor Diversity Leaders

(February 2, 2017, Tampa, FL) — Two women, both of whom have long histories championing educational opportunities for minority and other students, have earned a place on the Florida State Fair Authority’s Diversity Wall of Fame. Patsy Sanchez, director of diversity and inclusion for the University of South Florida System (USF) and Doretha Edgecomb, a Tampa native who has devoted the past 52 years to a career in education in Hillsborough County will be honored at a ceremony during the 2017 Florida State Fair.

The Florida State Fair Authority annually recognizes outstanding men and women who exemplify a commitment to excellence and have enhanced Tampa or Florida’s rich heritage and culture within their respective communities. Sanchez and Edgecomb were nominated by the Fair’s Diversity Advisory Committee and chosen by popular vote on the Fair’s website.

The Committee also is honoring two diversity leaders posthumously. The first, Perry Curtis Harvey, Jr., was a top union official on Tampa's docks and the first African-American elected to the Tampa City Council. While on the Council, he pushed for more playgrounds and the hiring of more African American police officers. Harvey died of heart failure in 2012.

Tony Garcia is the Fair’s other historic honoree. Garcia was Tampa’s “Mr. USO” for 40 years, serving personnel from Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base, Naval Reserve unit and military visitors. A World War II veteran, he brought the likes of Bob Hope, Aretha Franklin and Jimmy Steward to Tampa to perform for servicemen stationed in Tampa. Garcia passed away in 2003.

“The Florida State Fair Authority is pleased to recognize the exemplary efforts of these distinguished individuals,” said Cheryl F. Flood, executive director of the Fair. Regarding Sanchez and Edgecomb, she added, “Both of these woman are an inspiration not only to their communities but to the state of Florida and the nation as a whole in their tireless efforts to ensure equal educational opportunities for all.”
In her capacity at USF, Sanchez plans, develops, implements and evaluates university-wide comprehensive diversity policies, programs and initiatives to support the university’s Diversity Statement and Strategic Plan. She works to create awareness about USF’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and also serves as director for USF Latino Scholarship Program.

During the past 15 years, Sanchez has held various leadership positions at USF. She has been instrumental in partnering with local, state and national organizations, corporation and foundations to raise funds for scholarships to support and mentor talented first generation in college Latino students with financial need.

Sanchez, a Cuban-born native who came to the United States as a teen in 1980, is a member of several community organizations including the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council and the Mayor’s Latin Community Committee. She twice has received the USF Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and was named Hispanic Woman of the Year in 2016 by Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc.

Edgecomb began her career in education as a junior high school English teacher with Hillsborough County Public Schools, the same school system where she received her own education and where three of the four generations of educators in her family have served. She went on to serve as a parent involvement coordinator and reading supervisor and became principal of Robles Elementary School in the mid-‘90s.

Edgecomb entered the political side of education when she ran and won a seat of the Hillsborough County School Board in 2004. She served three terms until 2016, when she decided not to seek reelection.

Edgecomb is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the NAACP, and the East Tampa Revitalization Committee and is the president-elect of Athena Society. She recently was named one of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida’s 2017 Women of Distinction and Woman of Promise.

Sanchez and Edgecomb will be honored at the Wall of Fame Recognition Ceremony at Florida State Fair 10 a.m. Saturday, February 11 in the Frontier Steakhouse on the Waterfront. Their names will be added to the Wall of Fame, which will be on display outside of the restaurant for the remainder of the Fair.

The Florida State Fair runs from February 9 through 20. Discounted tickets can be purchased online at floridastatefair.com and at participating Walgreens throughout the state through Feb. 8.

For more information about the fair, including special attractions and HUGE discounts visit: www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

Note to media: Photos of the nominees are available under the News tab at floridastatefair.com.
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Shopkins are coming to the Florida State Fair!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com


Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com


Florida State Fair rolls out more family entertainment than ever before #1 selling Shopkins toys to make rare appearance during fair

(January 30, 2017 – Tampa, FL) – Ask almost any adult what the best selling toy was for 2015 and most would guess one of the toys from the blockbuster Star Wars movie. Little girls know better however, as they drove sales of the tiny Shopkins line from Australian toy company Moose Toys to the #1 spot, filling four of the top 10 positions.

This was no surprise to Cheryl Flood, the new executive director of the Florida State Fair and mom to four-year old daughter Alexa.

“It is an initiative of mine to bring the most popular children’s entertainment to the fair. Everyone knows we have the largest midway in the U.S. and some of the craziest food ever invented, but I also want to be known for outstanding family and children’s entertainment. It’s our children that will keep the fair strong for generations to come,” said Flood.

Booking Shopkins was her strongest move in that direction so far. Sales of Shopkins toys were showing a 98 percent increase over 2015 going into the Christmas season, and the popularity of the brand’s YouTube channels has skyrocketed. Securing characters Kooky Cookie and Apple Blossom for appearances at the fair wasn’t quite so easy, however.

“We searched the entire country for the what we believe to be the best in family entertainment,” said Flood.

At conventions and trade shows, she found there was lots of family entertainment available but very few entertainment agencies were able to produce the top name brands Flood was interested in bringing to the fair. After numerous calls to agents and even reaching out to the official Shopkins licensing company, Flood was finally able to secure a rare appearance of the wildly popular tiny toys.

“We were able to get them for meet and greets all fair days,” enthused Flood, and she is expecting large crowds of youngsters to greet the characters.

In addition to these popular toys come to life, the 2017 Florida State Fair will also feature acts from national TV Shows such as America’s Got Talent, exotic animals and death-defying acts of daring, all FREE with the price of admission.

“Where else, for less than the price of a movie ticket, can you see sea lions perform right before your eyes, experience a spectacular Big Top Circus, feed a giraffe from your own hand and see giant bears dance? There is no better family entertainment value in the state than the Florida State Fair,” said Flood.

The 2017 Florida State Fair is packed with hours of entertainment for guests young and old. Among the most popular attractions for 2017 are:

Shopkins – Shopkins are tiny, collectable plastic figurines modeled after items found in a grocery store. Manufactured by Moose Toys, an Australian toy company, each Shopkin has a unique name and personality. Two of the beloved and ultra rare characters – Kooky Cookie and Apple Blossom – will come to life at the Florida State Fair for a rare meet and greet with their adoring young fans.

Kooky Cookie and Apple Blossom will hold court for several hours each of the 12 days of the Fair. In keeping with the Fair’s 2017 theme, “Picture Yourself at the Fair,” children and their parents can have their photo taken with these two BFFs! – Multiple appearances each of the 12 days of the Fair. Free with the price of admission.

Sweet: A Tasty Journey – Making its first ever appearance at a State Fair is Sweet: A Tasty Journey, an interactive exhibit that utilizes games to explore the history of candy and its role in popular culture. There also is a giant Candy Land game perfect for fun pho-to ops, a “beanboozled” taste test challenge (grass flavored jelly bean anyone?) and can-dy-inspired art, including amazing replicas of famous paintings like the Mona Lisa, created with jelly beans.

Visitors also learn about the ingredients used to make their favorite treats from a “farm to fork” perspective and get schooled in the nuts and bolts of the confection-making process. All this is punctuated with fascinating stories of famous candy makers and chocolatiers. The Sweet exhibit is located in the Florida Center and is free with the price of admis-sion.

Sea Lion Splash – As the only traveling sea lion exhibit in the United States, Sea Lion Splash is a fun and unique animal performance showcasing Californian and South American sea lions. For guests who like to get up close and personal with the sea lions, there is a unique photo opportunity available after most presentations. When the Sea Lion Splash exhibit is not on the road, the stars of the show make their home in Myakka City. – Multiple performances each of the 12 days of the Fair. Free with the price of admission.

K-9s in Flight – These athletic pups perform each day, showcasing their amazing skills and training. See the dogs perform high jumping acts or make incredible Frisbee catches, all in a fast-paced, high-flying atmosphere. The show also highlights the importance of pet adoption, exercise, nutrition and the special bond between humans and dogs. All of the stars of K-9s in Flight have been rescued or adopted from U.S. shelters. – Multiple performances each of the 12 days of the Fair. Free with the price of admission.

Circus Hollywood Under The Big Top – Some of the most death-defying circus acts can be seen daily under the Big Top tent on the grounds. Watch as the singing ringmaster presents a spectacular trapeze show, incredible chair balancing performers teeter high in the air, some of the funniest clowns in the country delight with their antics, and beautiful Friesian horses perform along with camels and dogs. Don’t miss the incredible globe of death riders as they race around the inside of a steel cage. This high-energy show has state-of-the-art lights and sound, all presented under the Fair’s giant Big Top. – Multiple performances each of the 12 days of the Fair. Free with the price of admission.

Butterfly Encounter – Not only can Fairgoers observe these delicate creatures up close, they also can feed them nectar from a sponge. The screened-in encounter contains more than 250 butterflies including monarchs, swallowtails and painted ladies. – In the Agriculture Hall of Fame Building. Free with the price of admission.

Hollywood Racing Pigs – On your mark – get set – go! Watch cute little porkers make their way around the track. Join in rooting for your favorite as they race to entertain and win a treat. – Multiple performances each of the 12 days of the Fair. Free with the price of admission.

Giraffic Park Exotic Menagerie – Join Twigs the Giraffe and other amazing exotic animals up close in the Giraffic Park Exotic Menagerie. Where else can you feed a giraffe, get a close-up look at a llama or learn more about some of the most beautiful creatures on earth? Open each of the 12 days of the Fair. Free with the price of admission

Welde’s Big Bear Show – The Weldes once again bring their beautiful family of bruins to the Fair. The Welde’s bears are ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild, delivering a vital message of conservation and preservation for all. Learn about the bears while seeing them interact with their handlers – only at the Fair! – Multiple performances each of the 12 days of the Fair. Free with the price of admission.

Cracker Country – Throughout the Florida State Fair, Cracker Country comes to life with skilled artisans and historical educators who demonstrate crafts and life skills that would have been important to Florida settlers of the 19th century. Open all fair days until 6pm.

Florida State Fair Tractor Pull – Tractor Pulls use modified farm tractors in the world’s heaviest motorsport competition to pull a weighted sled along a track. It’s not about speed – it’s about going the distance. – Feb. 12 at 2pm in the Equestrian Center Covered Arena. Free with the price of admission.

Sunshine State Lawnmower Races – The MOW the merrier – join in the fun! A dreaded weekend chore is reinvented into a competitive sport. Sanctioned by the United State Lawn Mower Association, there are 11 racing classes from wild to mild. – Feb. 18 at noon and Feb. 19 at noon, in the Equestrian Center Covered Arena. Free with the price of admission.

Budweiser Clydesdales – The iconic Clydesdales, with their energetic personalities and elegance, will be on display for the first three days of the Fair. – Feb. 9-11, in the Equestrian Center. Free with the price of admission.

Vex State Robotics Championship – The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation sponsors competitions that test the technical and interpersonal skills of students that they will need to succeed in the 21st Century. – Feb. 17 (middle and high school) and Feb. 18 (elementary and middle), during Fair hours on the Coca Cola Stage, Entertainment Hall. Free with the price of admission.

Florida State Fair Draft Horse Pull Championship – Watch as these majestic animals compete by pulling a weighted sled for a short distance. The most powerful equine athlete will be declared the winner. – Feb. 16 at noon in the Equestrian Center Covered Arena. Free with the price of admission.

In addition to the exhibits and performances throughout the Fairgrounds there will be Strolling Acts in various locations to keep Fairgoers entertained for all 12 days. These in-clude:
• Rock-it Robot – More than just a costume character, Rock-it is a high tech body puppet. This nine-foot tall gentle giant stands head and shoulders above the crowds.
• Marc Dobson’s One-Man Band – The One Man Band and Son is a one of a kind show of extreme music with comedy for all ages.
• Those Funny Little People – a one-of-a-kind entertainment troupe of life-size puppets who dance, sing and spread good cheer. As seen on “America’s Got Talent.”

The Florida State Fair runs from Feb. 9-20. Discounted tickets can be purchased online at floridastatefair.com and at Walgreens throughout the state through Feb. 8.

For more information about the fair, including special attractions and HUGE discounts visit: www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create posi-tive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Opera-tions are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

Florida State Fair to Honor Diversity Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com


Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com


Florida State Fair to Honor Diversity Leaders
Honorees to be Determined by Popular Vote

(January 26, 2017, Tampa, FL) — The Diversity Advisory Committee of the Florida State Fair Authority annually honors outstanding men and women who exemplify a commitment to excellence and have enhanced Tampa or Florida’s rich heritage and culture within their respective communities. This year’s nominees, chosen by the Committee from a pool of recommended individuals, include education and religious leaders as well as attorneys specializing in civil rights and immigration law. Two honorees, as determined by popular vote, will earn a place on the Diverse Community Leaders Wall of Fame during the annual Florida State Fair. Voting is ongoing and continues through Monday, January 30 at FloridaStateFair.com.

The nominees are:
Warren Dawson, an attorney who has championed civil rights over a career that next year will hit the 50-year mark. He was the first black hired in the National Labor Review Board's Tampa regional office and was Tampa's first black assistant city attorney. Dawson recently was elected to the Judicial Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the highest judicatory body of a church estimated to have 7.5 million members in 39 countries.

Patsy Sanchez, director of diversity and Inclusion for the University of South Florida System (USF). Sanchez plans, develops, implements and evaluates university-wide comprehensive diversity policies, programs and initiatives to support the university’s Diversity Statement and Strategic Plan and creates awareness about USF’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Sanchez also serves as director for USF Latino Scholarship Program.

Rev. Dr. Thomas Scott, Senior Pastor of 34th Street Church of God in Tampa. Scott has served in this capacity for 35 years and currently is the Chairman of the Tampa Bay Coalition of Clergy. Rev. Scott also sat on the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council, serving as chairman of each for three terms. He is the only individual to have served as chair of both these bodies.

Doretha W. Edgecomb, a Tampa native who has devoted the past 52 years to a career in education. She was elected to the School Board in 2004, and reelected in 2008 and 2012. Edgecomb began her career in education as a junior high school English teacher with Hillsborough County Public Schools, the same school system where she received her own education and where three of the four generations of educators in her family have served.

Paul Palacios, an attorney specializing in immigration law in Tampa. Palacios owns his own firm which primarily represents clients in removal defense and family immigration. He was appointed as special magistrate for Hillsborough County by the Board of County Commissioners in 2013 and also has held office in a number of Hispanic organizations including the Tampa Bay Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the Hispanic Young Professional and Entrepreneurs.

Go to FloridaStateFair.com for photos and more information about these distinguished individuals, as well as to cast a vote for the African American and Hispanic representative to be honored during the Florida State Fair.

The Florida State Fair runs from February 9 through 20. Discounted tickets can be purchased online at floridastatefair.com and at Walgreens throughout the state through Feb. 8.

For more information about the fair, including special attractions and HUGE discounts visit: www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

Note to media: Photos of the nominees are available under the News tab at floridastatefair.com.

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2017 Florida State Fair Wall of Fame Nominees

Warren Dawson 
Doretha Edgecomb 
Reverend Thomas Scott 
Patsy Sanchez 
Paul Palacios 
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Florida State Fair Features Outrageously Delicious Food!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com

2017 Florida State Fair Features Outrageously Delicious Food
Something for Every Palate – from Mild to Wild

Cast Your Vote to Determine the Fare Favorite!

(January 20, 2017 – Tampa, FL) – The excitement offered by the rides on the Midway of the Florida State Fair are matched only by the thrills served up by the food vendors throughout the Fairgrounds. This year, adventurous foodies can feast on a White Cheddar and Bacon Pretzel Dog, Cheesy Fried Enchilada Funnel Cake, Steak Sundae, the Florida Firecracker – a burger stuffed with jalapeno poppers and bacon, slow roasted and served on an 8” hoagie roll with cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles – and more! And Fair fans once again will have a say in the featured fare by voting online starting Monday.

Because of the overwhelming enthusiasm for all manner of culinary concoctions at the Fair, the Annual People’s Choice Burger Awards have been expanded to include all categories of food, including sweet treats like Kettle Corn Ice Cream and the Nutella Oreo Funnel Cake. Check out all the offerings – with enticing photos and mouth-watering descriptions – at FloridaStateFair.com starting January 23 and choose the option that most tickles your taste buds by January 30. The creation that garners the most votes will be crowned the Fare Favorite. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, January 31.

“As the first State Fair in the country, the Florida State Fair is able to offer our guests the opportunity to taste some of the most unique food creations of the year,” said Cheryl F. Flood, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “Over the years, food has become an iconic part of the fair experience, and our vendors work very hard to bring the most delicious and unusual foods to our Fair. We’re always excited to sample the latest creations.”

This year’s Fair also will boast the debut of the Alaskan Soda Jerk, a one-of-a-kind soft drink concession stand serving up Root Beer Floats and popular “boardwalk” delights like cherry lime aides, as well as shakes and malts. Making its inaugural continental U.S. Fair appearance, Alaskan Soda Jerk invites fair goers to step back in time with ‘50s music, a diner style booth and costumes complete with aprons, paper hats and bow ties. “Soda Jerks” will entertain customers with an exciting presentation sure to draw a crowd.

The Florida State Fair runs Feb. 9-20. Discounted admission and ride armband tickets are available online at FloridaStateFair.com and all Florida Walgreens through February 8. Tickets also can be purchased online or at the gate during the 12 days of the Fair.
For more information about the fair including attractions information, news and discounts, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

Caption: The Chili Bacon Mac Grilled Cheese by Sunshine Concessions will be one of the new foods at the Florida State Fair.

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Entertainment at the 2017 Florida State Fair

Building 429
Building 429 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com
Cell: 443.995.0728

Entertainment at the 2017 Florida State Fair Sure to Get Feet Moving
Performers Range from GRAMMY nominees to a Voice Alum

(January 17, 2017 – Tampa, FL) – Whether you prefer boots, heels or something in between, get ready to tap your toes and stomp your feet along with the musical performers at the 2017 Florida State Fair, taking place from Feb. 9 through 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

All concerts are FREE with gate admission to the Fair, with the exception of the Country Gold Tour. Discounted admission and ride armband tickets, as well as tickets to Country Gold, are on sale now at FloridaStateFair.com.

Among the featured performers:
The Roots & Boots Tour features Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippen and Collin Raye, an all-star line-up sure to please both hardcore country fans and those who simply enjoy great music. Kershaw has long been one of Country Music’s most definitive voices, with a string of hits ranging from the rowdy “Cadillac Style” to the romantic “Love of My Life.” His newest disc, “The Blues Got Me,” pays homage to the Blues, a genre that Kershaw says always has been a part of his musical influences. Kershaw is joined by Raye, whose soulful delivery has set country standards, and Tippen, who marked his silver anniversary as a recording artist in 2016. – Feb. 20 at 6pm, Entertainment Hall, Coca Cola Stage

Shalyah Fearing of Hudson, FL, has been singing since the age of five. Flash forward 10 years to 2015, when she auditioned for Season 10 of The Voice and went on to earn a place in the Top 8 Semifinals. With her powerhouse voice and penchant for R&B, she drew comparisons to the likes of Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson. Catch Shalyah before her career explodes! – Feb. 10 at 8pm, on the Sleep Number Stage

Performing their award-winning songs and high-energy live shows is GRAMMY-nominated Christian rock band Building 429. The band took their name from the Bible
verse Ephesians 4:29, which, to paraphrase, means "If you can't say something nice, don't
say anything at all." Hailing from Fayetteville, NC, these four men are as committed to
their music as they are their message. – Feb. 19 at 6pm, Entertainment Hall, Coca Cola
Stage

The Country Gold Tour once again will return to the Fair. A fan favorite, the 2017 concerts will boast some of the biggest names to join the tour, including Johnny Lee, David Frizzell and Barbara Fairchild on Feb. 14 and Bobby Bare, the Gatlin Brothers and Marty Haggard (son of the legendary Merle Haggard) on Feb. 15. Leroy Van Dyke of “Auctioneer” and “Walk on By” fame will perform at both shows. $10 general admission, $20 reserved floor seating. Contact the Box Office at 813.740.4640 to reserve. Tickets do not include Fair admission. – Feb. 14 and 15 at 2pm, Entertainment Hall, Coca Cola Stage

Joe Zuniga divides his time between Tampa and Monterrey, Mexico. Zuniga grew up listening to music genres such as Tejano, Country, R&B, Hip Hop, Merengue, Salsa and Bachata, and now is focused on creating a new Grupero style. He has played with several Florida bands as a keyboard player and back-up vocalist, but recently recorded his first single, “Atado A Tu Amor,” in Mexico. – Feb. 19 at 7pm on the Sleep Number Stage

The Judge Talford Band is comprised of five talented musicians from rural Tennessee. Well-known in the Bluegrass community, the band wanted to broaden their show by including other genres. They now add their own twist to classic rock ‘n’ roll songs – from the ‘50s to modern hits. – Multiple performances throughout the 12 days of the Fair on the Sleep Number Stage

Belles & Whistles creates a great, fun live show that alternates originals with favorite country and rock covers. This mother-daughter duo are talented singers and masterful songwriters. Their show features rich, pure harmonies and lyrics both compelling and clever. – Multiple performances throughout the 12 days of the Fair on the Tampa Bay Times Stage

“The family that plays together, stays together” could be the motto of the Rolf family, who make up Matt’s Family Jam. Matt, wife Lisa and their three children began touring fairs and festivals in 2011 and have been treating audiences to their harmonious combination of rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, country and gospel ever since. A Fair favorite in 2016. – Multiple performances throughout the 12 days of the Fair on the Sleep Number Stage

Dennis Lee is a dynamic entertainer with a magnetic stage presence that captures any crowd. Lee blends musical favorites from every genre with improvisation and audience antics. A longtime Fair favorite. – Multiple performances throughout the 12 days of the Fair on the Tampa Bay Times Stage

Elvis fans won’t be disappointed when the Elvis Extravaganza National Championships return to the Fair. Check out dozens of the country’s best Elvis impersonators competing in this three-day event. – Shows on Feb. 14-16, Entertainment Hall, Coca Cola Stage

Based in Orlando, the Z Street Band combines creativity and today’s technology with innovation to have a full and authentic big band sound true to the original artists. – Feb. 13 at 11am, 1 and 3pm, Entertainment Hall, Coca Cola Stage

Mighty Mongo is a five-piece rock band hailing from St. Petersburg. Fun-loving and freewheeling, Mongo plays a kind of party rock punk that gets the crowd moving. – Feb. 11 at 7pm, Sleep Number Stage

Shawn Scheller has rebooted his solo career backed by a top-notch backing band of musicians he has named The Contenders. Based in the Tampa Bay area, The Contenders’ live shows feature a mix of blue-eyed soul originals and cover material ranging from the ‘40s Big Band era to sax driven/yacht rockin' retro ‘80s music. – Feb. 17 at 7pm, Sleep Number Stage

The Lauren Mitchell Band is known for the feel and energy of their live performances. This Sarasota-based band is a tour de force, bringing their Blues and Soul to 250 national and international shows each year. – Feb. 18 at 7pm, Tampa Bay Times Stage

The River City Boys present a Tribute to the Statler Brothers, celebrating that band’s nearly 50-year career that included five GRAMMYs, two Academy of Country Music awards and three County Music Association awards. When the Statlers retired in 2002 they left millions of fans wanting more – and the River City Boys deliver. – Feb. 14-16 prior to the Elvis Extravaganza, Entertainment Hall, Coca Cola Stage

The Florida State Fair runs Feb. 9-20. Tickets are on sale online at floridastatefair.com and at Walgreens throughout the state through Feb. 8.

Find more information about the rides, concerts, attractions and other news online at www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

Caption: GRAMMY-nominated Christian rock band Building 429 will perform at the Florida State Fair 6pm, Feb. 19 in the Entertainment Hall on the Coca Cola
Stage.

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2017 Florida State Fair Promotions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com
Cell: 443.995.0728


New 2017 Florida State Fair Promotions Celebrate Veterans, Seniors, Non-Profits and More!

(January 9, 2017, Tampa, FL) – The 12 days of the 2017 Florida State Fair include giveaways, deals and promotions to celebrate all that is great about Fair – and the attendees, whether first-timers or devoted fans. With more than 100 things to see and do included in the price of admission, Fair fans with availability during the week can enjoy special incentives and explore all the entertainment and attractions – while avoiding the weekend crowds. Save even more time and buy tickets online at floridastatefair.com.

February 9 (Opening Day): Salute to Heroes – All active, reserve, retired military veterans, law enforcement, firemen and first responders are admitted free with valid ID. There will be a special commemorative give-away* to recognize these heroes.

February 11 and 18: 4-H and FFA Days – 4-H and FFA students admitted FREE with ID or jacket.

Monday through Friday, February 13-17: Seniorific Days – These days feature senior discounts at the gate and a robust schedule of senior-specific programs, including a presence by Central Florida Speech and Hearing, which will provide qualified special needs seniors with phones on-site. Programming by a Dementia Awareness organization also is planned.

February 14: Valentine’s Day – Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your love and receive special giveaways* including coupons and candy courtesy of the Simon Shopping group and 2-for-1 rides on the Giant Wheel sponsored by Wade Shows.

February 14 and February 15 at 2 p.m.: Country Gold Tour – $20 for reserved chair seating and $10 general admission bleacher seating.

February 15: Grandparents’ Day – Grandparents and other caregivers and preschoolers will receive special giveaways,* including coloring books for children. Programming specifically tailored for grandparents and preschoolers, such as special tours of the Agriculture area and Cracker Country, will take place all day. Children and adults also can collaborate on a coloring wall, enjoy Library Storytimes with the Hillsborough County Public Library, and more.

February 16: The Fair Cares Non-Profit Appreciation Day and Thrifty Thursday – Members of non-profit organizations are invited to enter a raffle for cash prizes to be awarded to both the individual and their organization by the Fair Authority. There will be a special give-away* and a discounted Midway promotion with 10 rides for $10 as part of our Thank You to community volunteers.

February 17: $5 Friday after 5 p.m. – Guests admitted for $5 after 5 p.m. (Sold only at the Fairgrounds.)

February 20: Family Fun Pack – $25 admission for up to four people. (Sold only at the Fairgrounds.)

Student Days – Students receive a FREE ticket distributed by the school district in the various counties of Hillsborough (February 10); Hardee (February 12); Citrus and Highlands (February 19); Manatee, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota (February 20).

Gold Access Program – Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the last day of the Fair (February 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20) – This enhancement, available with the purchase of a ride armband, grants guests special express access at Midway rides for a $15 upgrade fee. (Limited number sold each day.)

Goodwill discount – Guest receive $2 off adult regular gate admission with donation to Goodwill Industries. (Does not apply to advance sales.)

The Florida State Fair runs Feb. 9-20. Tickets are on sale online at floridastatefair.com and at Walgreens throughout the state through Feb. 8.

For more information about the fair including attractions information, news and discounts, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Top Ten at Florida State Fair

Giraffic Park Exotic Menagerie
Giraffic Park Exotic Menagerie 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com
Cell: 443.995.0728


Top Ten FREE Remarkable and Rare Experiences at the 2017 Florida State Fair

(Tampa, FL, January 13, 2017) – The Florida State Fair, which runs from February 9 to the 20 at the Tampa Fairgrounds, is filled with fabulous entertainment and world-class attractions. Best of all, almost all of the fun is FREE with the price of admission!

We searched the grounds for some of our favorites and here is our Top Ten list of FREE things to do at the Florida State Fair in 2017.

10. See three of America’s most enduring country music stars on one stage at the Roots and Boots concert with Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippen and Collin Raye on Feb. 20 at 6pm.
9. Feed a butterfly from a nectar-soaked sponge at the Butterfly Experience in the Agriculture Hall of Fame building.
8. Take a bean-boozled jellybean taste test challenge (look out for the grass flavored ones!) at the Sweet: A Tasty Journey exhibit in the Florida Center.
7. Contribute your artistic talent to a 28-foot long Fair-themed coloring page located near the Steam Engine Museum.
6. Pet a giraffe at the Giraffic Park Exotic Menagerie tent.
5. See the death-defying globe of death, aerial entertainers, horse shows and clowns, all in the fabulous Hollywood Circus under the red and white Big Top.
4. Watch an antique printing press from the early 1900s in action and take home a souvenir from Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country Living History Museum, open to the public during the Fair.
3. Witness the birth of one of the many calves born in the Mooternity Ward.
2. Performing sea lions, canines and bears – oh my! (at the Sea Lion Splash, K-9s in Flight and Welde Big Bear Shows)
And…
1. Create a new tradition and memories to last a lifetime with family and friends.

Discounted admission and armband tickets are available at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Tickets also can be purchased at Florida Walgreens locations through February 8.

AT-A-GLANCE
When: February 9 – 20, 2017
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa 33610
Parking: FREE

Tickets Sales:
• Purchase online at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Tickets also are available through the Fair box office, website, mail or fax. Call 1-800-345-FAIR (3247)
• Tickets sold at all Walgreens stores from through February 8

Pricing:
Advance prices available through February 8
Advance Adult Tickets: $9 Save up to $4
Adults Tickets at Gate: $11 (Monday – Thursday), $13 (Friday – Sunday)

Advance Child Tickets: $5 (Ages 6 – 11 years old) Save up to $2
Child Tickets at Gate: $6 (Monday – Thursday), $7 (Friday – Sunday)
* Children ages 5 and under are FREE

Advance Seniors Tickets: $7 Save $2
Seniors Tickets at Gate: $9
* Seniors tickets are valid ONLY on Senior Days (February 13-17)

Advance Weekday Armbands: $20 (Valid on Feb. 9, 13,14,15 and 16) Save $5
Weekday Armbands at Gate: $25

Advance Any Day Armband: $30 Save $5
Any Day Armband at Gate: $35

For more information about the Florida State Fair, including special promotional discounts and offers planned during the Fair, as well as announcements regarding entertainment and promotions, go to www.FloridaStateFair.com or follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Caption: Get up close and personal with a giraffe from the Giraffic Park Exotic Menagerie, one of the more than 100 things to see and do included in the price of admission to the Florida State Fair, February 9-20.


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Discount Ride and Admission Tickets on Sale at Walgreens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com
Cell: 443.995.0728


Discount Ride and Admission Tickets Now Available at Walgreens and Online
2017 Florida State Fair Takes Place February 9 through 20

(Tampa, FL, January 3, 2017) – Discounted admission and ride tickets for the 2017 Florida State Fair now are available at all area Walgreens through February 8, as well as online at FloridaStateFair.com. Individuals and families can save up to 30 percent off the price at the gate by buying in advance. The 113th Florida State Fair is scheduled for February 9 through 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa. This year’s theme, “Picture Yourself at the Fair,” emphasizes all of the unforgettable moments waiting to be captured – all at an excellent price and always with free parking.

Adults can save up to $4 by purchasing advance admission tickets for $9, while tickets for seniors and kids are $2 off the regular prices of $9 and $7 respectively. Weekday armbands good for all-you-can ride on either February 9, 13, 14, 15 or 16 are $20, while ride armbands good for any one day of the Fair (including weekends and holidays) are $30 –a savings of $5 on both.

For less than the price of a movie ticket, the 2017 Florida State Fair offers some of the best family entertainment in the country, including the only travelling sea lion act in the country; a museum quality, interactive exhibit that explores the influence of candy on pop culture; a spectacular Big Top Circus; an opportunity to see the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales up close; the wild and wacky antics of the Sunshine State Lawnmower Races; the chance to feed a giraffe and see more than 5,000 other animals – and so much more. As the first State Fair in the U.S., the Florida State Fair also gives Fair goers an opportunity to be the first to experience some of the newest thrill rides and outrageous Fair food.

Discounted admission and armband tickets are available at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Tickets also can be purchased at Florida Walgreens locations through February 8.

AT-A-GLANCE
When: February 9 – 20, 2017
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa 33610
Parking: FREE

Tickets Sales:
• Purchase online at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Tickets also are available through the Fair Box Office or by mail or fax. Call 1-800-345-FAIR (3247)
• Tickets sold at all Walgreens stores through February 8

Pricing:
Advance pricing discounts, available through February 8
• $7 for seniors (a savings of $2) – Must be used Feb. 13-17
• $9 for adults (a savings of up to $4); $5 for children ages 6 to 11 (a savings of up to $2)
• Children five years and younger are FREE
All-You-Can Ride Armbands good for one day (Save $5 when you purchase by February 8)
• Weekday Ride armbands - $20 for unlimited rides (Valid Feb. 9 and Feb. 13-16)
• Any Day Ride armbands - $30 for unlimited rides (Valid during Midway hours)

Tickets for the Country Gold concerts held February 14 and 15 can only be purchased through the Florida State Fair Authority. Shows will be at 2 p.m. The concert on Valentine’s Day features Leroy Van Dyke, Barbara Fairchild, David Frizzell and Johnny Lee, while the February 15 show stars Leroy Van Dyke, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, Bobby Bare and Marty Haggard.

For more information about the Florida State Fair, including announcements regarding entertainment and promotions, go to www.FloridaStateFair.com or follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.


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Family 4-Pack, Perfect for Gift Giving, Limited Time Offer.

Taking the inaugural run on the new Super Slide at the Florida State Fair: From left – Kaylee Hudson, Mason Lefler, Madison Lefler, Commissioner Adam H. Putnam, Raelyn Hudson and Ashlyn Flack<br />
Taking the inaugural run on the new Super Slide at the Florida State Fair: From left – Kaylee Hudson, Mason Lefler, Madison Lefler, Commissioner Adam H. Putnam, Raelyn Hudson and Ashlyn Flack
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
Lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
Candace@kilroycommunications.com

Laurie L. Hayes
Office: 813.627.4318
Laurie.Hayes@floridastatefair.com
Cell: 443.995.0728

Save $117 on Four-Packs of Admission and Ride Armband Tickets for the 2017 Florida State Fair Just $75 Through Sunday at Midnight Includes Unlimited Rides on the Largest Midway in the US – like the New Super Slide!

(Tampa, FL, December 16, 2016) – The Florida State Fair has a new, improved Super Slide, unveiled today by Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. The Slide is but one of the more than 115 rides contributing to the 2017 Florida State Fair’s status as the nation’s largest Midway. In order to take advantage of all the thrills – and the 100+ other things to see and do – the Fair is offering a special on four-packs of admission and ride armband tickets through Sunday at midnight. This special stocking stuffer deal is only $75 – a savings of $117 off the gate price! This package, as well as individual admission and ride armband tickets, is available online at FloridaStateFair.com. The 113th Florida State Fair is scheduled for February 9 through 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa.

This morning, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam was joined by a group of enthusiastic students from the Antioch Critters 4-H Club and the Strawberry Crest FFA among others including Merry Moo, the Florida Dairy Famers mascot, in taking the inaugural ride down the Super Slide.

“In the Summer of 2015, severe winds swept through the Florida State Fairgrounds, taking with it our iconic slide that had been enjoyed by patrons of the Fair for generations since the 1970s,” said Commissioner Putnam.

“Today, we with the Fair Authority, and all who missed the slide last year, are getting an early Christmas present with the debut of our new, improved Super Slide.”

The Super Slide was originally commissioned for the 2014 NFL Experience in Times Square prior to the Super Bowl. Purchased through Rides 4U, the Slide is 60 feet tall and 180 feet long, and will make its debut at the 2017 Florida State Fair. The Super Slide boasts an LED package that gives off a spectacular light show at night. Rides on the Slide will be $5 at the Fair – or all-you-can-ride with the purchase of a ride armband, which currently are available online for a special price of $20 through January 1.

In addition to thrilling rides, it wouldn’t be the Florida State Fair without educational and entertaining attractions and performers. The 2017 Florida State Fair features more than 100 things to see and do included in the price of admission, including Sweets: A Tasty Candy Journey, Sea Lion Splash, Florida State Tractor Pull, K-9s in Flight Sunshine State Lawnmower Races and more.

Where – for the price of a movie ticket – can you see a Sea Lion, a spectacular Big Top Circus, cheer on your favorite porker at the pig races, feed a giraffe from your own hand, enjoy acts from TV shows like America’s Got Talent, watch an amazing bear show, and be thrilled by the dogs of K-9s in Flight? There are more than 5,000 animals, a Robotics Championship, endless shopping and of course that crazy fair food.

Only the Florida State Fair can pack that much entertainment into your day at such an affordable price. Discounted admission and armband tickets are available at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Get the best prices now through January 1. Tickets also can be purchased at Florida Walgreens locations from January 2 through February 8.

AT-A-GLANCE

When: February 9-20, 2017

Where: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa

Parking: FREE

Tickets Sales:
• Purchase online at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Tickets also are available through the Fair box office, website, mail or fax. Call 1-800-345-FAIR (3247)
• Tickets sold at all Walgreens stores from January 2 through February 8

Pricing: Through Sunday at midnight – get a four-pack of admission and ride armbands tickets good for any one day of the Fair for only $75 – a savings of $119 off the regular gate price.

Save up to $15 on all-you-can-ride armbands good for any one day of the Fair.
$20 – available online at FloridaStateFair.com through January 1, 2017

Ride armband pricing from January 2 through February 8, 2017
Weekday Ride armbands - $20 for unlimited rides (Valid February 9 and February 13-16)
Any Day Ride armbands - $30 for unlimited rides (Valid during all Midway hours)

All other advance pricing discounts, available through February 8:
$7 for seniors – Must be used Feb. 13-17
$9 for adults; $5 for children ages six to 11
Children five years and younger are FREE

Tickets for the Country Gold concerts held February 14 and 15 can only be purchased through the Florida State Fair Authority. Shows will be at 2 p.m. The concert on Valentine’s Day features Leroy Van Dyke, Barbara Fairchild, David Frizzell and Johnny Lee, while the February 15 show stars Leroy Van Dyke, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, Bobby Bare and Marty Haggard.

For more information about the Florida State Fair, including special promotional discounts and offers planned during the Fair, as well as announcements regarding entertainment and promotions, go to www.FloridaStateFair.com or follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Sweets: A Tasty Journey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

2017 Florida State Fair Tickets on Sale December 1
Sweets: A Tasty Journey among new attractions
The 113th Florida State Fair takes place February 9 - 20

(Tampa, FL, November 30, 2016) – The 113th Florida State Fair is scheduled for February 9 through 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa. This year’s theme, “Picture Yourself at the Fair,” emphasizes all of the unforgettable moments waiting to be captured on camera. One of the new featured attractions promises to make patrons of all ages as happy as kids in a candy store as they learn about the history of confections. The Sweets exhibit, along with rides, shows, concerts, shopping, food and amazing animals and livestock, as well as Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country and other exciting entertainment, promise non-stop fun – all at an excellent value and always with free parking. Discounted advance admission and ride armband tickets are available for purchase online at www.FloridaStateFair.com beginning Thursday, December 1.

New at the Florida State Fair in 2017 is Sweets: A Tasty Journey, an interactive exhibit that utilizes a blend of traditional and modern educational techniques to explore candy’s history and role in popular culture. There also is a giant Candy Land game perfect for fun photo ops, a “beanboozled” taste test challenge (grass flavored jelly beans anyone?) and candy-inspired art, including amazing replicas of famous paintings like the Mona Lisa, created with jellybeans.

Visitors also learn about the ingredients used to make their favorite treats from a “farm to fork” perspective and get schooled in the nuts and bolts of the confection-making process, while hearing fascinating stories of famous candy makers and chocolatiers. The Sweets exhibit is free with the price of admission.

“We want both loyal patrons and those who have not yet visited the Fair to join us in making memories that will last a lifetime,” said Cheryl Flood, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “The Sweets exhibit in particular will provide a fun and educational experience for all ages.”

In addition to fascinating attractions, it wouldn’t be the Florida State Fair without outrageously delicious food and exciting rides. This year, Fairgoers once again will vote for the People’s Choice Burger from a selection of new and returning burger favorites. This burger will be featured at the Fair along with new culinary treats such as the Steak Sundae, Oreo Funnel Cake and more.

Discounted admission and armband tickets will be available at www.FloridaStateFair.com beginning December 1. On December 1 only, all “Any Day” ride armband purchases with come with a FREE Gold Access pass entitling the rider to special access to Midway rides (a $15 value). Tickets also can be purchased at Florida Walgreens locations from January 2 through February 8.

AT-A-GLANCE
When: February 9 – 20, 2017
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa 33610
Parking: FREE

Tickets Sales:• Purchase online beginning December 1 at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Tickets also are available through the Fair box office and by mail or fax. Call 1-800-345-FAIR (3247)
• Tickets are sold at all Walgreens stores from January 2 through February 8

Advance Pricing: (Advance price discounts are available through February 8)
$7 for seniors – Must be used Feb. 13-17
$9 for adults; $5 for children ages six to 11
Children five years and younger are FREE
Weekday Ride armbands - $20 for unlimited rides (Valid February 9 and February 13-16)
Any Day Ride armbands - $30 for unlimited rides (Valid during all Midway hours)

Tickets for the Country Gold concerts held February 14 and 15 can be purchased only through the Florida State Fair Authority. Shows will be at 2 p.m. The Valentine’s Day concert features Leroy Van Dyke, Barbara Fairchild, David Frizzell and Johnny Lee, while the February 15 show stars Leroy Van Dyke, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, Bobby Bare and Marty Haggard.

For more information about the Florida State Fair, including special promotional discounts and offers planned during the Fair, as well as announcements regarding entertainment and promotions, go to www.FloridaStateFair.com or follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.


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Caption: Sweets: A Tasty Journey, offers a history lesson in everyone’s favorite sweet treats, and is one of the featured attractions at the 2017 Florida State Fair, February 9-20. The exhibit is free with Fair admission. Tickets are available online at www.floridastatefair.com beginning December 1.

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Hiring Seasonal Help

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

Florida State Fair Hiring Seasonal Help

(Tampa, FL, November 29, 2016) – The Florida State Fair is hiring Ticket Sellers, Docents, Ride Attendants, Tram Drivers, Tram Attendants, Sign Shop Technicians, Gate Attendants, Event Services, Museum Maintenance Assistant, Telephone Operators and other seasonal positions. Start dates range from mid-January to early February and jobs will continue through Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The Florida State Fair runs from Thursday, Feb. 9 to Monday, Feb. 20. Shifts and hours are varied. Applicants must be available to work flexible hours including, but not limited to, on-call, late nights, early mornings, weekends and holidays for the duration of the Fair.

For consideration, please apply at www.floridastatefair.com. Background checks are conducted on all candidates. 
EOE/DFWP

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Vendor and Competitive Exhibit Entry Applications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

Vendor and Competitive Exhibit Entry Applications Sought for 2017 Florida State Fair

(November 29, 2016, Tampa, FL) – The Florida State Fair Authority currently is accepting online applications from retail merchants and handmade arts & crafts vendors who are interested being a part of the 113th annual Florida State Fair, slated for February 9 through 20, 2017, in Tampa. As the first state fair of the year, the Florida State Fair is an ideal venue to debut new wares or give loyal customers the opportunity to shop for some of their favorite merchandise.
Applications are evaluated on a first come, first served basis. The Florida State Fair offers merchants a variety of exhibit space options within an 88,000 square foot indoor retail space and 24,000 square foot indoor space for arts and crafts. Outdoor vendor spaces range in size from 10 to 100 feet of frontage. Specifications and other criteria for each vendor area are listed on the applications.

“The Florida State Fair offers incredible exposure for merchants, artisans and competitors. The Fair provides vendors a unique opportunity to get in front of many thousands of visitors,” said Cheryl Flood, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority.

The Fair Authority also continues to accept competitive exhibit entries in categories ranging from baking to wood working to fine arts and more for the upcoming Florida State Fair. In addition to bragging rights, winners receive cash prizes and other recognition.

Details and applications for merchants, arts & crafts vendors and competitive exhibit entries are available online at www.floridastatefair.com. Click on “2017 Fair Applications” on the homepage.

For more information about the Florida State Fair, go to www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.
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Nominations for the 2017 Fair Wall of Fame

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

Nominations Solicited for the Minority Community Leaders Wall of Fame Recognition at the 2017 Florida State Fair

(Tampa, FL, November 21, 2016) The Florida State Fair Authority is seeking nominations of outstanding African American, Asian/Pacific and Hispanic individuals who have demonstrated well-rounded professional and community involvement that honors their heritage and diversity in the Tampa area or in other regions throughout the state.

Nominations forms currently are available online at www.floridastatefair.com and will be accepted through Wednesday, December 7. Nomination Forms are attached. Hard copy forms can be obtained via fax, email or mail by contacting Teena Tatro at 813.627.4319. Nominees must be of African American, Asian/Pacific, or Hispanic descent and may be from the public or private sector.

The Florida State Fair Authority’s Diversity Advisory Committee members will select up to five candidates from each sector. The public will have the opportunity to choose the nominee they feel is most deserving of the honor by voting online via the Fair’s website between Thursday, December 15 through Tuesday, January 17.

These diversity champions will be recognized on the Wall of Fame, which will be on display throughout the 12 days of the 2017 Florida State Fair, from February 9 through 20 in Tampa.

The honorees or a family representative (in the case of an historical winner) also will be honored at a ceremony 10 a.m. Saturday, February 11 in the Waterfront Café on the Fairgrounds.

Find more information about this and other events online at www.floridastatefair.com or call toll-free 800.345.FAIR or 813.621.7821. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

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Caption: The 2016 Florida State Fair Authority Diversity Leaders Wall of Fame honorees were Dr. Walter L. Smith, Hung T. Mai, Pricilla Clark, Victoriano Manteiga (represented by Erin Manteiga), and Douglas Lee Jamerson (represented by his son, Cedric Jamerson). Nominations currently are being accepted for the 2017 honorees.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Give the gift of fun this holiday season with Fair tickets!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

Give the gift of fun this holiday season with tickets to the 2017 Florida State Fair! Online sales start December 1

(Tampa, FL, November 18, 2016) This holiday season, treat your friends and family to delicious fair food, thrilling rides, live music, fun and educational programming, shopping and more – by giving the gift of tickets to the 2017 Florida State Fair, February 9 through 20

Advance tickets sales start December 1. Tickets can be purchased online at www.floridastatefair.com at discounts of up to 30 percent of the regular retail price. Paper tickets, suitable for gifting, can be downloaded and printed at home.

As an added incentive, all ride armband tickets purchased on December 1 will include a FREE Gold Access pass enabling the bearer to use special express lines for many of the rides on weekends and the final day of the Fair.

Advance admission tickets are $9 for ages 12 and older and $5 for ages 6 to 11. (Children 5 and younger are admitted free.) Advance tickets for seniors ages 55 and older are $7 and are valid on Monday through Friday, February 13-17 only. Weekday ride armband tickets are $20 for unlimited rides (valid on February 9, 13, 14, 15 or 16) and Any Day ride armband tickets are $30 and can be used for unlimited rides any one day during the Fair.

Tickets to the Country Gold concerts on February 14 and 15 also go on sale December 1. The concert on Valentine’s Day features Leroy Van Dyke, Barbara Fairchild, David Frizzell and Johnny Lee, while the February 15 show stars Leroy Van Dyke, Steve and Rudy Gatlin, Bobby Bare and Marty Haggard.

The 2017 Fair will feature such popular favorites as the Budweiser Clydesdales, Welde’s Big Bear Show, Giraffic Exotic Menagerie and petting zoo and the Craftsmen’s Marketplace. Agriculture remains at the heart of the Florida State Fair, providing an opportunity for adults and students to show off their prize-winning animals, compete in rodeos and earn bragging rights for the best pie, jam, quilt or woodcarving in the Sunshine State.

In keeping with this year’s theme, “Picture Yourself at the Fair,” imagine the photo opportunities of your family and friends enjoying all the exciting new attractions like the tallest travelling Ferris Wheel in North America, Sweet: A Candy Exhibition, the Sunshine State Lawnmower Races and the Roots and Boots tour with Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye.

No trip to the Florida State Fair would be complete without all the outrageous delicious culinary treats and gravity defying rides. Kicking off the state fair season in the United States, the Florida State Fair offers the first glimpse of all the exciting new foods and thrills.

As in years past, the Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country Living History Museum also will be open to the public during the Fair. Parking is always free!

Among the promotions planned for the 12 days of the Fair are Salute to Heroes Day with free admission for military and first responders on Opening Day, a Valentine’s Day celebration with couples’ give-aways and incentives; a Grandparents’ Day (February 15) that includes special programming for seniors and tots, and The Fair Cares: a Non-Profit Awareness & Appreciation Day (February 16) during which non-profit organizations and members have a chance to win cash prizes.

Find more information about these and other events online at www.floridastatefair.com. Follow the Fair on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/flstfairgrounds for the latest updates and announcements.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Picture Yourself at the Fair!

Doyle E. Carlton III, chairman of the board of the Florida State Fair Authority, tries out one of the new Snap Stops designed to reinforce the 2017 theme - “Picture Yourself at the Florida State Fair.”
Doyle E. Carlton III, chairman of the board of the Florida State Fair Authority, tries out one of the new Snap Stops designed to reinforce the 2017 theme - “Picture Yourself at the Florida State Fair.” 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

Picture Yourself at the Florida State Fair Country Gold Tour one of the many featured attractions for 2017

(Tampa, FL, October 20, 2017) – The Florida State Fair Authority invites people across the state and beyond to “Picture Yourself at the Florida State Fair” – the theme for the 2017 event, slated for February 9-20.

“We want both loyal patrons and those who have not yet experienced the Fair to join us in making memories that will last a lifetime,” said Cheryl Flood, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority.

The 2017 theme places an emphasis on all of the unforgettable moments waiting to be captured at the Fair. From a selfie with a giraffe to a souvenir photo while riding on North America’s tallest travelling giant wheel to a picture in one of the many whimsical “Snap Stops” scattered throughout the Fairgrounds, the 2017 Fair promises enough photo ops to fill an album.

“This is the 113th year of the Florida State Fair and I am confident that the 2017 event will be our best ever,” said Doyle E. Carlton III, chairman of the board of the Florida State Fair Authority. “The staff and board have been hard at work for months to craft an event that will offer something for every age and interest.”

The Fair Authority also has confirmed that the Country Gold tour once again will be returning to the Fair in 2017. A fan favorite, the 2017 concerts will boast some of the biggest names to join the tour, including Johnny Lee, Bobby Bare, the Gatlin Brothers and Marty Haggard (son of the legendary Merle Haggard), as well as Leroy Van Dyke of “Auctioneer” and “Walk on By” fame.

Tickets for the 2017 Fair and the Country Gold Tour go on sale December 1. For more information about the Florida State Fair, including upcoming announcements regarding entertainment and promotions, go to www.FloridaStateFair.com or follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through: the annual Florida State Fair; a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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State Fair Authority Re-elects Board Officers


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laurie L. Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Office: 813.627.4318
Cell: 443.995.0728

Florida State Fair Authority Officers Re-Elected at September Board Meeting

(Tampa, FL – Sept. 29, 2016) The Florida State Fair Authority re-elected all of its officers at its September 26 Board meeting.

Doyle E. Carlton III, of Wauchula is re-elected as Chair, while Robert M. Thomas, of Thonotosassa, will serve as Vice-Chairman. Linda Syfrett, of Okeechobee, holds the office of Treasurer and Jack Vogel, of San Antonio, continues as Secretary.

“I appreciate being re-elected as Chair and am thankful for the opportunity to serve along with the officers, the Fair Authority Board, Fair staff and countless volunteers in hosting one of the best Fairs in the country,” said Doyle E. Carlton, III.

The Authority, which oversees the operations of the Florida State Fairgrounds and the annual Florida State Fair, is authorized by state statute and operates under the oversight of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture appoints Authority members.

About the Florida State Fair Authority
The mission of the Florida State Fair Authority and its Board of Directors is to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual Florida State Fair, a variety of year-round events; quality competitive programs; a commitment to agriculture, education and community service, and a focus on new opportunities.

The Florida State Fair Authority does not receive state, county or city tax dollars. Operations are funded by revenue generated by the annual Florida State Fair and the rental of Fairgrounds facilities to outside entities throughout the year. For more information about the Florida State Fair Authority, go to www.floridastatefair.com.

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Annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!


For more information, contact:
Cindy Horton, Director of Museum Operations
(813) 627-4225

Cracker Country Living History Museum Joins Smithsonian Magazine’s Annual Museum Day Live!

September 20, 2016, Tampa, FL – Mildred W. & Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country will be open free-of-charge as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 24. This nationwide event offers free admission to patrons presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket at a participating museum or cultural venue.
Visitors to Cracker Country can tour historic buildings and grounds that represent home life, commerce and transportation as it was in many rural Florida communities just before the turn of the 20th century. Watch a blacksmith at work, dip a beeswax candle, meet a 19th century Florida cow hunter and help with the everyday chores like churning butter and cleaning laundry with an old-fashioned washboard. Get a head start on holiday shopping with nostalgic gifts from the general store.

More information and a link to download the Museum Day Live! ticket is available at CrackerCountry.org. Visitors who present this ticket will gain free entrance for two. One ticket is permitted per household and/or email address. Regular admission to Cracker Country is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Cracker Country next will be open to the public for Christmas in the Country 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 10. That event will feature the sights, sounds and smells of an old fashion country Christmas with hands-on historical interpretations, carols, traditional decorations and more. Regular admission prices will apply. The museum also is open to the public free-of-charge (with gate admission) during the 12 days of the Florida State Fair, February 9 to 20, 2017.

Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country is located on the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 Highway 301 North, Tampa, FL 33610. Please enter through the MLK Boulevard entrance to the Fairgrounds. Parking is $6 per vehicle.

Museum Day Live! represents the Smithsonian’s commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone, giving museums across all 50 states the opportunity to offer the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. Last year’s event drew over 400,000 participants nationwide.

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Commissioner Putnam Announces New Executive Director

Cheryl Flood<br />Florida State Fair<br />Executive Director

Florida State Fair Executive Director

Cheryl Flood
Florida State Fair
Executive Director
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 30, 2016

Contact: Jenn Meale
(850) 617-7737
Twitter: @FDACSNews

Commissioner Putnam Names Cheryl Flood as Florida State Fair Executive Director

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced that he has appointed Cheryl Flood as the Executive Director of the Florida State Fair. Flood has served as Interim Director over the past six months and has contributed to the Florida State Fair since 2011.

“Cheryl’s passion for the Florida State Fair’s mission and drive to see it succeed is unrivaled,” Commissioner Adam H. Putnam said. “I have the utmost confidence in her experience and ability to continue to make the Florida State Fair the best in the country.”

Prior to joining the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2002, when she was appointed as Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs, Flood worked in the Florida Legislature as a Legislative Assistant. Following her initial four years with the department, Flood worked for then-Congressman Adam H. Putnam as District Director and was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff. She returned to the department in 2011 as the Director of External Affairs. During this time, among many responsibilities, she served as the liaison between the department and the Florida State Fair.

Flood, a fifth generation Floridian, grew up on a cattle ranch east of Lake Wales and has dedicated her career to promoting agriculture. Flood graduated from the University of Florida’s Agricultural Leadership Education program with minors in Agribusiness Management and Sales, Agricultural Law, and Agriculture and Natural Resources Ethics and Policy.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.

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Discover the Food Festival!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Laurie L. Hayes
Manager, Communications and Marketing
(office) 813.627.4318
(cell) 443.995.0728
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com


Discover the Food Festival slated for Florida State Fairgrounds. A celebration of food, family and fun.


(TAMPA, FL, April 19, 2016) – Get a taste of the best that the Tampa Bay region has to offer when the Florida State Fair Authority hosts its Discover the Food Festival on Saturday, April 30 from 11am to 7pm and Sunday, May 1 from 11am to 5pm at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 US Highway 301 North in Tampa. The event is a twist on the Food Truck Festival that has been held at the Fairgrounds annually for the past three years. While a variety of food truck fare remains on the menu, this year’s Festival also features craft beer from Tampa’s own Coppertail Brewing Co. and the return of some Florida State Fair favorites as well as entertainment for the whole family. Admission is free. Parking is $6 for cars and $12 for buses or RVs (cash only).


For the first time, Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country Living History Museum will be open to the public free of charge from 11am to 5pm on the Saturday of the Festival. Guests are invited to tour the historic buildings and grounds that represent home life, commerce and transportation as it was in many rural Florida communities just before the turn of the 20th century. Experience music, hands-on craft activities and demonstrations of old Florida foodways including a kitchen garden, cane-grinding mill, open fire cooking, butter churning and salt extraction.


Radio Crime, Tampa Bay’s premiere classic rock band, will headline the event. Entertainment also will include Children’s Storytimes by the Hillsborough County Public Library throughout the morning and afternoon on Sunday. A Kid’s Fun Zone with an inflatable slide, bounce houses and more will make a return appearance at the Festival.


Tampa’s own Coppertail Brewing Co. will offer their popular Free Dive IPA, Unholy American Trippel, Night Swim Robust Porter and Wheat Stroke American Wheat Ale. Brew masters will be on hand to provide pairing advice to best complement your fare of choice.


Pepin Distributing Co. also will be offering a variety of popular beers including Shocktop, Stella and Cornona. In addition, Budweiser will be bringing their Beer Garden Experience – a mobile bar serving Budweiser products complete with televisions, an interactive digital kiosk and a phone charging stations.


For those adults looking for a more exotic kick, Gasolina Urban Blends are bringing their ready to drink cocktails crafted with premium spirits such as high quality Caribbean rum, 100% agave tequila, five times filtered and distilled vodka and 100% natural fruit juices. Packaged in a unique aluminum pouch complete with straw, Gasolina Urban Blends come in six delicious flavors: Original, Tu Madras, Mojito, Pink Martini, Sangriiia and Sea Breeze.


Discerning palates can choose from seafood, sandwiches and barbeque, as well as a variety of ethnic cuisine. Hott Mess, Skoops Italian Ice, Claws and More and Monsta Lobsta are among those confirmed for the Festival.


The event is being sponsored by the Tampa Tribune, Coppertail Brewing Co. and Pepin Distributing Company.


Food vendor and non-food vendor applications are still being accepted for the Festival, which attracted nearly 20,000 people in 2015. For more information or to obtain an application, contact Beth Duff at 813.627.4317 or by email at Beth.Duff@freshfromflorida.com, or Brian Keller at 813.627.4332 or by email at Brian.Keller@freshfromflorida.com.


For more information about attending the Food Festival, go to www.floridastatefair.com or follow the Florida State Fair on Facebook and Twitter.


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LLEGA LA VERSIÓN 112 DE LA FERIA ESTATAL DE LA FLORIDA

Contacto para los MEDIOS de Comunicación:
Laurie L. Hayes
Manager, Communications and Marketing
813.627.4318
laurie.hayes@freshfromflorida.com
LLEGA LA VERSIÓN 112 DE LA FERIA ESTATAL DE LA FLORIDA FEB.4–15 DE 2016

HAY MUCHO PARA EXPLORAR, ATRACCIONES NUEVAS, ENTRETENIMIENTO, EXHIBICIONES Y DELICIOSA COMIDA
(TAMPA, FL) – Del 4 al 15 de febrero llega la versión 112 de la Feria estatal de la Florida al Florida State Fairgrounds localizado en la I-4 y la US Hwy 301 en Tampa. El tema de este año es “Hay mucho más para explorar”, y con este enfoque se le recuerda a la gente que hay muchas actividades para compartir, una gran variedad de eventos para descubrir y disfrutar como las atracciones mecánicas, la comida, las exhibiciones, los animales, y las compras. La Feria estatal de la Florida le ofrece a sus visitantes diversión sin fin y más de 112 cosas para hacer. Como siempre el estacionamiento es gratis.

Este año, los amantes de la música podrán disfrutar de conciertos como la sensación de los años 60 Gary Puckett; el cantante de música country Colt Ford; el artista de jazz y de blues Robert Cray; y el ganador del premio Dove, Tenth Avenue North. Otros conciertos incluyen los ritmos de Matt‟s Family Jam y la artista india: Aranda. Por segunda vez se presenta Lazy Bonez, con un tributo a los „80s en conjunto con Beatlemania Live. El siempre popular Elvis Extravaganza y el favorito de la feria Dennis Lee regresan para complacer a sus seguidores. Algunos de los conciertos serán en el Coca Cola Headline Music Stage localizado en el Equestrian Center. Otros artistas se presentarán en el escenario del Tampa Bay Times o del Sleep Number.

Regresa uno de los conciertos más populares de la Feria: Country Gold, vuelve al Entertainment Hall el 9 y 10 de febrero. Los boletos para este concierto siempre se agotan y pueden comprarse por internet visitando www.FloridaStateFair.com. El precio es de $20 por los asientos de platea y $10 por admisión general.
A disfrutar de un inolvidable tiempo en familia en la Feria estatal de la Florida. Espectáculos de comedia, dobles acrobáticos (stunt drivers), increíbles animales y exposición de ganado, además de la presentación de Mildred W. y Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country y entretenimiento para todos durante los 12 días de la feria.
Sabemos que no sería la Feria estatal de la Florida sin la deliciosa comida y las atracciones mecánicas. Este año, quienes atiendan podrán votar por su hamburguesa favorita en la llamada “People‟s Choice Burger” escogida por el público entre nuevas variedades. Quienes disfrutan del riesgo, no querrán perderse la montaña rusa Super Cyclone, una de las atracciones en el Florida State Fair Midway.
“En la Feria estatal de la Florida hay algo para cada miembro de la familia” dice Charles C. Pesano, Director Ejecutivo de la Autoridad de la Feria estatal de la Florida. “Es un gran año para explorar todo lo que ofrece la Feria, mientras disfrutamos, y todo a precios moderados.”
Los boletos de admisión y los brazaletes están a la venta ahora mismo en www.FloridaStateFair.com o en diferentes localidades de Walgreens en todo el estado.


EN RESUMEN
Cuándo: Febrero 4 - 15 de 2016


Dónde: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa 33610

Estacionamiento: GRATIS

Admisión: Los boletos con descuento deben ser comprados por adelantado hasta el 3 de febrero.

$7 para las personas mayores de 55 años (tienen que ser usados entre el 8 y el 12 de febrero).

$9 para adultos. $5 para niños de 6 a 11 años.

Niños menores de cinco años entran GRATIS.


Brazaletes durante los días de semana - $20 para montar en las atracciones de manera ilimitada (Válidos sólo el 4 de febrero y del 8 al 11 de febrero).
Brazaletes para montar cualquier día - $30 para montar de manera ilimitada (Válidos durante todas las horas Midway).
Compra de Boletos: Disponibles en las tiendas Walgreens hasta el 3 de febrero.
También disponibles por medio de la oficina de la Feria (Fair box office), la página web, por correo o por fax:

Llamar 1-800-345-FAIR (3247).

Los boletos para el concierto Country Gold del 9 y el 10 de febrero sólo pueden ser comprados por medio del Florida State Fair Authority. La presentación van a ser a las 2 p.m.

Durante la Feria habrá otros descuentos promocionales en admisiones y en brazaletes para las atracciones. Para más información visitar www.FloridaStateFair.com.

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Florida State Fair Awards Six Scholarships

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact:
Laurie L. Hayes
Manager, Communications and Marketing
813.627.4318
laurie.hayes@freshfromflorida.com

FLORIDA STATE FAIR AWARDS SIX SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDENT ARTISTS
RECEPTION SLATED FOR FEB. 6 DURING THE 112TH FLORIDA STATE FAIR


(Tampa, FL – January 26, 2016) – The Florida State Fair Authority will award scholarships to six Florida high school seniors to support their pursuit of an art-related major or minor at an accredited institution of higher learning. The students were chosen based on their submissions to the Fair’s Art Portfolio Contest and will be recognized at an Awards Reception at the Florida Center on Feb. 6 at 11am.
The first place winner and recipient of a $3,500 scholarship is 
Catherine Chen. Chen attends A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in Palm Beach. Thirteen of the finalists were from Dreyfoos, which requires all visual and digital media seniors to enter the competition.
Jennifer Dupotey, a senior at New World School of the Arts
 in Miami-Dade County came in second and will receive $2500 
to put towards her art education.
Four other students received Awards of Merit and $1000
 scholarships. They are Claudia Gonzalez, also from New World School of the Arts; Ma. Renalyn Macias
 from Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami-Dade County; Nicholas Gauthier
 from Harrison School for the Arts 
in Polk County, and S. Beth Kimsey from Miami Arts Charter School 
in Miami-Dade 
County.
In total, approximately 400 students submitted applications representing 67 schools in 24 counties. Each student artist submitted a portfolio of between seven and 10 images of original two or three-dimensional artwork in a variety of medium.
The submissions were judged by Amanda Cooper, curator of exhibitions at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg and Elizabeth Kozlowski, an independent curator, arts consultant and collections manager.
Works by the six scholarship winners as well as 26 other student artists chosen by Cooper and Kozlowski will be on display during the Florida State Fair, which takes place Feb. 4-15. The exhibit also will feature photos of the artists engaged in their creative processes. In addition, the art can be viewed on the Florida State Fair website, www.floridastatefair.com.
Tickets for the Florida State Fair are available for purchase online at www.floridastatefair.com, in person at the Fairgrounds Box Office by phone, 1-800-345-FAIR (1-800-345-3247), or at Walgreens throughout the state. The 112th Florida State Fair will be held February 4–15 at the Florida State Fairgrounds located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa. This year’s theme, “So Much More to Explore,” reminds everyone that there are seemingly endless activities to discover and enjoy including rides, food, exhibits, entertainment, animals, attractions and shopping. The Florida State Fair offers non-stop fun AND an excellent value with more than 112 free things to do and always free parking.
For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter @flstfairgrounds.
About the Florida State Fair:
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.
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The People's Choice Burger Award Winner

Bacon Bomb Explosion
Bacon Bomb Explosion 



January 28, 2016

CONTACT:
Laurie Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318

BACON BOMB EXPLOSION BURGER CROWNED
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER


TAMPA, FL- The votes are in and Florida State fairgoers have decided that bacon really is better! The Bacon Bomb Explosion Burger is the resounding winner in the Florida State Fair’s People’s Choice Burger Awards.






The Bacon Bomb Explosion Burger beat out three other burger concoctions during online voting between Jan. 20-27 and will be featured on the menu during the Florida State Fair in Tampa on February 4-15.

The winning burger features fresh ground chuck, with ranch, BBQ sauce and a special seasoning. After the addition of some bacon crumbles, the meat is wrapped in a lattice of fresh bacon and slow roasted with hickory smoke until golden brown, then sliced into patties. This mouthful of a burger is served on a Kaiser roll with a slice of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and, for the adventurous, a few more strips of bacon.

With a total of 1,803 votes, here is how the burgers stacked up:
1) Bacon Bomb Explosion – 47% of total votes
2) Red Neck Burger – 22% of total votes
3) French Toast Burger – 20% of total votes
4) Ice Cream Burger – 11% of total votes

The Bacon Bomb Explosion Burger edged out the runner up, Red Neck Burger, which is a fresh burger patty, with bacon & cheese, fried bologna, baked beans, potato sticks, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, on a toasted bun.

The French Toast Burger was a close third. This breakfast-inspired burger featured a burger patty topped with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, sandwiched between slices of homemade French Toast and drizzled with a special sauce.

In fourth place was the Ice Cream Burger, a beef patty with cheese bacon, tomato, onion and pickle, and topped with a coated scoop of Mexican-style fried ice cream.

High-resolution photos of all burgers, as well as other fun Fair food, are available in the Florida State Fair electronic media kit, at
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/udszjit6imm8fka/AAAOdx_VN7Z8rgmU8tIxnqpHa?dl=0

Thanks to all who participated in the voting!

For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter@flstfairgrounds.

The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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Ag remains the Heart of the Florida State Fair

January 20, 2016

CONTACT:
Laurie Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
Agriculture Remains at Heart of Florida State Fair

TAMPA, FL - Back in 1904 when the South Florida Fair made its debut, livestock traders used the event to buy and sell cattle and visitors bet on races while enjoying agricultural exhibits.

While much has changed in its 112-year history, agriculture remains at the heart of the Florida State Fair, providing adults and students the chance to show off their prize-winning animals, compete in rodeos and earn bragging rights for the best pie, jam, quilt or woodcarving in the Sunshine State.

For students who participate in Florida 4-H or the Florida FFA (Future Farmers of America) Association, the State Fair is the culmination of long hours of hard work to prepare their animals to be shown in livestock competitions. All totaled, approximately 5,000 animals will be exhibited during the Fair.

As the state becomes more urban, it’s even more important to remind Fair visitors of the role agriculture plays in the daily life of every Floridian. Agriculture is one of Florida’s most important and profitable industries and produces nearly 300 different commodities that feed, clothe and shelter people across the state and beyond.

To bring the message home, State Fair organizers use fun, hands-on activities that appeal to young and old.

“We try to bring as much of the agricultural world to people as we can,” explains Vina Jean Banks, director of agribusiness for the Florida State Fair Authority.

Here is a brief sampling of some of the popular agricultural activities:

Ag Venture: Using hands-on activities, kids and adults get to make butter, squeeze fresh orange juice, take part in games to learn about where meat and poultry comes from, and get educated on how other favorite foods make it from farm to table (Located across from the Charlie Lykes Arena).

Florida Learning Garden: In partnership with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, this year-round garden boasts herbs, fruit and plants while highlighting hydroponic gardening. Visitors learn how to incorporate Florida-friendly plants and shrubbery into their own yards and learn a variety of other gardening tips (Located next to Gate 3).

Salute to Ag: Visitors can hold a newborn chick or rabbit, milk a cow or watch an expectant cow give birth in the Mooternity Ward (Located near the Ag Hall of Fame).

Florida Cattlemen’s Exhibit: Fairgoers learn the important role ranching has and continues to play in our state’s history in this interactive, permanent exhibit (Located next to the Entertainment Hall).

Florida Forest Discovery Center: Located next to the Cattlemen’s Exhibit, fairgoers learn about Florida’s vast forest industry, observe some of the massive equipment used in fighting forest fires and visit with some of Florida’s finest firefighters.

Agriculture Hall of Fame: Fair visitors enjoy cooking demonstrations, exhibits by some of the state’s most popular commodity boards, and budget-friendly meals at the Fresh from Florida Food Bar.

The 2016 Florida State Fair runs February 4-15 at the State Fairgrounds in Tampa. For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter@flstfairgrounds.

About the Florida State Fair:

The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.
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Rides Bring Thrills and Chills to the Midway

January 20, 2016

CONTACT:

Laurie Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
RIDES BRING THRILLS AND EXCITEMENT TO THE MIDWAY
112TH FLORIDA STATE FAIR FEATURES SPECTACULAR RIDES THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN ENJOY

TAMPA, FL - Adventure seekers of all ages won’t be disappointed after a visit to the midway at the 2016 Florida State Fair, taking place February 4-15 in Tampa. This year’s fun-filled Fair offers rides from kiddie size to larger-than-life spectaculars, and a greater focus on rides the whole family can enjoy together.
Here are some of this year’s NEW offerings:

Super Cyclone Roller Coaster: Roller coaster fans won’t want to miss this newest addition to the Midway. The Super Cyclone is a great thrill ride the whole family can enjoy.

Stampede: A modern take on the classic Giant Wheel. Stampede features two large wheels with LED lights and continually spins around, giving riders a breathtaking experience.

Hurricane: Like a Tilt-A-Whirl on steroids, the cars on the Hurricane not only spin around but swing, generating great G-forces. This ride is sure to thrill!

Disk’O: Riders will get a rush on this U-shaped adult roller coaster. It simultaneously combines a breathtaking rocking and spinning motion as it positions passengers on pedestal seats facing outward.

New York New York Super Funhouse: The biggest and baddest funhouse on the midway. Standing three stories tall, this ride features dozens of obstacles with a huge spiral slide at the end.

Jungle Twist: A family roller coaster with a twist. As each car goes around the 60-foot oval track, gravity causes each car to spin at different times and different speeds.

Balloon Wheel: The whole family can ride this unique Giant Wheel. Get in one of the balloon cars and up an away you go!

Always a Fair favorite, the original Batcopter, continues to thrill. Located on the North side of the fairgrounds, the Batcopter N3079G was the only one created for the Batman TV series starring Adam West. Best of all, riders enjoy a ‘Bat’s Eye’ view of the Fairgrounds.

For the first time, Fair visitors can purchase a Gold Access Pass, which entitles each pass holder to enter through Special Access Lines for midway rides, and receive a 10% discount on select food and beverage concessions. Gold Access Passes are available for $15, plus the cost of a ride armband.

Enjoy UNLIMITED rides throughout the Fair with Any Day Armbands for $30 in advance, $35 at the gate; and Weekday Armbands for $20 in advance (valid Monday through Thursday, excluding President’s Day), and $25 at the gate.

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.floridastatefair.com, in person at the Fairgrounds Box Office by phone, 1-800-345-FAIR (1-800-345-3247), or at Walgreen’s throughout the state.

For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter@flstfairgrounds.

About the Florida State Fair:
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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Entertainment for every age showcased at 2016 Fair

January 18, 2016

CONTACT:
Laurie Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
ENTERTAINMENT FOR EVERY AGE SHOWCASED AT 2016 FLORIDA STATE FAIR
CONCERTS APPEAL TO NEARLY EVERY MUSICAL TASTE
TAMPA, FL – An outstanding entertainment lineup of musical performers that includes a Grammy winning artist and a host of iconic favorites is slated for the 2016 Florida State Fair, taking place from Feb. 4-15 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

From country to blues, contemporary Christian to tribute bands, this year’s lineup features concerts that will appeal to nearly every musical taste. All concerts are FREE with gate admission to the Fair, with the exception of the Country Gold Tour.

Below is a list of this year’s performers. All concerts will be held at the Coca-Cola Headline Music Stage, unless otherwise noted.

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, were one of the most popular musical groups of the 1960s. With an unmistakable voice, Puckett’s songs were part of the soundtrack of the era. Best known for Young Girl, Woman Woman and Over You, Puckett Union Gap performed on the famed Ed Sullivan Show, as well as before Presidents and princes. Today, Puckett makes his home in Clearwater, and regularly tours the U.S. and Canada. He recently released a new album, Gary Puckett – Live, as well as his first-ever Christmas CD, At Christmas. Gary Puckett performs on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 pm.

Robert Cray is a five-time Grammy award winner who was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. Cray’s career spans more than 40 years – an extraordinary accomplishment for a musician. The band has recorded 20 studio releases, 15 of which have been on the Billboard charts, and played bars, concert halls, festivals and arenas around the world. Texas blues and R&B artist Jimmie Vaughan sums up Robert Cray’s singularity and success simply when he says, “He’s got one foot in the future and one foot in the old stuff.” The Robert Cray Band puts on an unforgettable show on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7pm.

Trailblazing country artist Colt Ford has a sound that can best be described as Country meets Hip Hop. Ford is a professional golfer turned rapper, musician and songwriter who has released five albums, four of which have peaked in the Top 10 on the Billboard Country charts. Ford is famous for his revolutionary mash-up of good old boy country and the rhythms of hip-hop, a groundbreaking combination. He made his debut album, Ride Through the Country in 2008 and released a compilation album, Thanks for Listening. Answer to No One: The Colt Ford Classics, last year. Most recently, Colt Ford has used his notoriety to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among veterans in a 12-minute movie featuring his hit song, Workin’ On. Colt Ford performs on Monday, Feb. 15 at 6pm.

Christian artists Tenth Avenue North bring their pop-influenced hits to the Florida State Fair for the very first time. Launched during their college days in West Palm Beach, the five members of Dove award-winning Tenth Avenue North seek to spread truth and build community with their music. The group made its national debut in 2008 on Reunion Records with Over and Underneath. Lead vocalist Mike Donehey, drummer Jason Jamison, bassist Ruben Juarez, keyboardist Brendon Shirley and guitarist Jeff Owen have forged a unique sound that has made them one of the Christian music’s most successful young bands. Their current album, Cathedrals, debuted at number one on the Billboard Christian Music Charts and features the singles, No Man is an Island and Stars in the Night. Tenth Avenue North performs Monday, Feb. 8 at 7pm.

Tribute bands will be well represented this year as Lazy Bonez celebrates ‘80s rock music with high-energy performances of songs from legendary bands such as Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Journey, Poison and Def Leppard. Catch their two performances on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 3pm and Sunday, Feb. 7 at 1pm.
Beatlemania Live captures the songs and spirit of the original Fab Four with original model guitars and drums, theatrical make-up and costumes, and stage choreography to authentically recreate the image of a live Beatles concert. They perform on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7pm.
Elvis fans won’t be disappointed when the Elvis Extravaganza National Championships return to the State Fair. Check out dozens of the country’s best Elvis impersonators competing in this three-day event starting at noon on Feb. 12-14.
The family that plays together, stays together could be the motto of the Rolf family, who make up the music group, Matt’s Family Jam. They’ll headline the Tampa Bay Times Stage from Feb. 4-15 with feel-good music for all ages. Matt, his wife Lisa, and their three children, Colin, 16, Adrienne, 13, and Benjamin, 10, began touring fairs and festivals in 2011 and have been treating audiences to their harmonious combination of rock-n-roll, jazz, swing, country and gospel ever since.
Self-taught musicians Dameon Aranda and Gabe Aranda started their first band in the 5th grade. Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Cat Stevens, Aranda has collaborated with some of the music industry’s finest talent, including Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry and 3 Doors Down. Aranda’s forthcoming release, Not the Same features 11 new songs, including one stripped down acoustic and one self-proclaimed “disco-y pseudo rock track,” contains a message of hope and optimism for their audience.

Finally, the always-popular Country Gold Tour will wow the crowd with classic country standards. Join legendary award-winning classic country icon Leroy Van Dyke, along with Bill Anderson, Jimmy Fortune, John Conlee, Rex Allen, Jr., T.G. Sheppard and T. Graham Brown, as they take you on a nostalgic journey featuring America's golden music. Enjoy these renowned musicians as they perform the celebrated "Nashville Sound" that took their music around the world and back. This fast-moving performance of country's greatest hits has been successful in 25 states and four foreign countries. The shows are on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and Wednesday, Feb. 10 in Entertainment Hall. Both performances begin at 2pm.

A separate ticket for the Country Gold Tour is required. Advance tickets are $20 for reserved floor seats or $10 for General Admission seats and may be purchased online at www.FloridaStateFair.com, through the Fair box office, or by calling 1-800-345-FAIR (3247).

AT A GLANCE:
February 4-15
Matt’s Family Jam 1pm, 4pm, 7pm (+)
February 6
Matt’s Family Jam 11am (+)
Lazy Bonez 3pm
Beatlemania Live 7pm
February 7
Matt’s Family Jam 11am (+)
Lazy Bonez 1pm
February 8
Tenth Avenue North 7pm
February 9
Country Gold Tour 2pm *
February 10
Country Gold Tour 2pm *
February 12
Elvis Extravaganza noon
Gary Puckett 7pm
February 13
Matt’s Family Jam 11am
Elvis Extravaganza noon
Robert Cray 7pm
February 14
Matt’s Family Jam 11am (+)
February 15
Colt Ford 6pm
Aranda 7pm (+)
* Additional tickets required for Country Gold Tour. Concerts held in Entertainment Hall.
+ Concerts held at Tampa Bay Times Stage
For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter@flstfairgrounds.

About the Florida State Fair:
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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Florida State Fair new twists on Pizza and burgers

January 18, 2016
CONTACT:
Laurie Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
TASTES ABOUND FOR EVERY PALATE AT THE 2016 FLORIDA STATE FAIR NEW TWISTS ON PIZZA AND BURGERS HELP MAKE THE FAIR A FOOD FANTASY

TAMPA, FL – The thrills offered by the rides on the Midway of the Florida State Fair are matched only by the thrills served up by the food vendors throughout the Fair. This year, adventurous foodies can feast on the colossal Double Barrel Burger, which switches out the traditional bun for glazed doughnuts and throws in a scoop of mac and cheese for good measure. Other novel noshes include the PB&J and Bacon Quesadilla, Pizza Funnel Cake and Fried Birthday Cake Pop. And Fair fans once again will choose the People’s Choice Burger.

“As the first State Fair in the country, the Florida State Fair has introduced some of the most unique food creations,” said Charles C. Pesano, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority. Over the years, food has become an extremely important part of the fair experience, and our vendors work very hard to bring fairgoers the newest, most delicious foods. We’re always excited to taste the latest creations.”

Because of the enthusiastic response in 2015, Fair fans can vote for the most enticing burger in the 2nd Annual People’s Choice Burger Award. Voting begins Jan. 20 online at www.FloridaStateFair.com and continues through Jan. 27. The burger that garners the most votes will be crowned the Fair Favorite.

Burgers on the ballot for the People’s Choice Burger Award are:

French Toast Burger: Breakfast lovers will want to favorite this fresh burger patty topped with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, sandwiched between slices of homemade French Toast and drizzled with a special sauce.

Ice Cream Burger: A meal and dessert all in one tasty concoction. Take a cheeseburger, top it with bacon, tomato, onion and pickle, and then add the pièce de résistance – a coated scoop of Mexican-style fried ice cream.

Redneck Burger: You won’t go hungry after enjoying this requested burger. Take a fresh burger patty, top it with bacon & cheese, slide it on piece of fried bologna, then add baked beans, potato sticks, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, all on a toasted bun.

Bacon Bomb Explosion Burger: A bacon lover’s delight! Fresh ground chuck is seasoned with ranch, BBQ sauce and a special seasoning. After the addition of some bacon crumbles, the meat is wrapped in a lattice of fresh bacon and slow roasted with hickory smoke until golden brown, then sliced into patties. This mouthful of a burger is served on a Kaiser roll with a slice of cheese and a few more strips of bacon – if you can handle it. Add lettuce tomato, onion and pickles. Regardless of the voting, this bacon bomb will be among the fare offered this year.

There are plenty of other new food creations for fairgoers to taste. One burger EVERYONE will be talking about is the Double Barrel Burger. It’s making its national debut at the Florida State Fair. This colossal double-decker burger starts with a glazed doughnut as the bottom bun. Then add a fresh burger patty, cheese and bacon. Another doughnut cut in half is the middle bun, followed by a second burger patty, cheese, a scoop of mac and cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle (optional) and another whole glazed donut tops off this massive burger. You’ll need at least two hands to eat it, and be sure to keep napkins handy!

Another new burger temptation, The Southern Belle Burger, features a fresh burger patty with bacon, cheese, fried green tomato, and fried egg, then topped with a Southern staple – pimento cheese salad. Add your choice of lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion and you have a burger that could make Scarlett O’Hara blush with delight.

Pizza lovers will want to get their hands on the Pizza Funnel Cake. This new creation starts with pizza dough flavored funnel cake topped with pizza sauce, melted cheese and pepperoni. It brings pizza to a whole new level.

The PB&J classic combo gets a Tex-Mex makeover in the Peanut Butter, Jelly and Bacon Quesadilla, another new sensation on the menu at the Florida State Fair. Or try the Peanut Butter and Banana Quesadilla, perfect as a pre-performance snack before the annual Elvis Extravaganza, featuring the country’s best Elvis impersonators. Adventurous food lovers will try any of the quesadillas with a side of chocolate chips and caramel. A Bacon and Cheese Quesadilla also will be available.

Of course, no meal is complete without a decadent dessert. This year, deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos will have to compete with the new Deep Fried Birthday Cake Pop, another Florida State Fair first. It’s a mini birthday cupcake, dipped in a sweet batter and deep-fried. It’s topped with colorful sprinkles and cream cheese icing for dipping.

Looking for a healthier Fair experience? There is a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options, including Island Noodles, a warm filling stir-fry made with buckwheat Yaki Soba noodles and tossed with garlic, ginger and up to 21 fresh vegetables. Island Noodles contain no gluten, dairy or nuts and can be made with or without meat.

Fairgoers can sample many of the concession creations at this year’s Taste of the Fair on Monday, Feb. 8. Select food vendors offer petite portions of their regular menu items at a budget price point. A list of participating food vendors will be located at the Guest Services booths.

With so many delicious food selections, you won’t want to miss the 2016 Florida State Fair!
For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter@flstfairgrounds.

The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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Introducing the 2016 Florida State Fair

January 11, 2016

CONTACT:
Laurie Hayes
Marketing and Communications Manager
Laurie.Hayes@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318

INTRODUCING THE 112TH 2016 FLORIDA STATE FAIR – FEB. 4 - 15. THERE’S SO MUCH MORE TO EXPLORE, WITH NEW RIDES, ENTERTAINMENT, EXHIBITS AND FOOD

TAMPA, FL – The 112th Florida State Fair is scheduled for February 4 – 15 at the Florida State Fairgrounds located at I-4 and US Hwy 301 in Tampa. This year’s theme, “So Much More to Explore,” reminds everyone that there are seemingly endless activities to discover and enjoy including rides, food, exhibits, entertainment, animals, attractions and shopping. The Florida State Fair offers non-stop fun AND an excellent value with more than 112 free things to do and always free parking.

This year, music lovers will tap their toes to headliner concerts by 1960s sensation Gary Puckett; up-and-coming country singer Colt Ford; jazz and blues artist Robert Cray; and Dove Award-winning group Tenth Avenue North. Other concerts include the harmonies of Matt’s Family Jam and Indie artist Aranda. Lazy Bonez, an ‘80s tribute band, is back for their second Florida State Fair, along with Beatlemania Live. The always-popular Elvis Extravaganza and Fair favorite Dennis Lee will be back to please fans. Some of the concerts have a new home on the Coca Cola Headline Music Stage located in the Equestrian Center. Other artists will perform on the Tampa Bay Times or Sleep Number Stages.

One of the most popular Fair concerts, Country Gold, returns to the Entertainment Hall on Feb. 9 and 10. Tickets for this concert are always a sell-out and can be purchased online at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Prices are $20 for reserved floor seating and $10 for general admission.

Family fun is at its finest at the Florida State Fair with comedy shows, stunt divers, amazing animals and livestock, as well as the Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country and other exciting entertainment throughout the 12 days of the Fair.

It wouldn’t be the Florida State Fair without outrageously delicious food and exciting rides. This year, Fairgoers once again will vote for the People’s Choice Burger from a selection of new and returning burger favorites. Daredevils won’t want to miss a ride on the Super Cyclone Roller Coaster, just one of the new attractions on the Florida State Fair Midway.

“There is truly something for everyone at the Florida State Fair,” said Charles C. Pesano, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “This is a great year to explore all there is to offer, while having fun on a budget.”

Admission tickets and armbands are on sale now at www.FloridaStateFair.com or at
Walgreens locations throughout the State.

AT-A-GLANCE
When: February 4 - 15
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa 33610
Parking: FREE
Admission: All advance discounts must be purchased through Feb. 3.
$7 for seniors and must be used Feb. 8-12.
$9 for adults. $5 for children ages six to 11.
Children five years and under are FREE.
Weekday Ride armbands - $20 for unlimited rides (Valid only on Feb. 4 and Feb. 8-11).
Any Day Ride armbands - $30 for unlimited rides (Valid during all Midway hours).

Ticket Purchase: Available at all Walgreens stores through Feb. 3.
Also available through the Fair box office, website, mail or fax:
Call 1-800-345-FAIR (3247).

Tickets for the Country Gold concerts held February 9 and 10 can only be purchased through the Florida State Fair Authority. Shows will be at 2 p.m.

Other promotional discounts occur throughout the Fair on admission and ride armbands. Go to www.FloridaStateFair.com for details.

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programming. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
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Florida State Fair Cyber Monday Special

November 28, 2015

CONTACT:
Terri Parnell-Longphee
Senior Director of Sales & Marketing
Terri.Parnell@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4218

Teena Tatro
Senior Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Teena.Tatro@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4319


Florida State Fair Offers Cyber Monday Armband Special
Country Gold and Admission Tickets Also on Sale

TAMPA, FL – On Monday, November 30, 2015, the Florida State Fair will kick off ticket sales with a ride armband special. Purchase an Anyday ride armband on the FloridaStateFair.com website and receive a Gold Access Pass valued at $15.00 for free. The Gold Access Pass is a new upgrade program for 2016 that enables guests to use special express access at midway rides and 10% off on selected food and beverage. It is available only for use on Saturdays, Sundays and the last day of the Fair, February 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15. Cyber Monday is the only opportunity to get a Gold Access Pass until the Fair starts when they can be purchased on a limited basis at the Fairgrounds. Anyday ride armband advance price is $30.00. Once the Fair starts, the price will increase to $35.00.

Admission and Country Gold tickets will also go on sale along with weekday ride armbands. Advance pricing for a child, ages 6 to 11, is $5.00; senior, ages 55+, is $7.00 and adult is $9.00 per person. All prices increase once the Fair starts on February 4. Children ages 5 and under are free. Weekday ride armband advance price is $20.00 and increases to $25.00 on the first day of the Fair. The popular Country Gold concerts will be held Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10. Tickets are $10 for general admission in the bleacher seating and $20 for reserved floor seating. Go to the website to purchase general admission seating and call the Florida State Fair box office at 813-627-4360 for reserved seating. The Florida State Fair runs February 4th through 15th, 2016, and is located at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at US 301 N. and I-4.

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programing. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
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Fair Authority Announces Wall of Fame Honorees

November 24, 2015
CONTACT:
Teena Tatro
Senior Marketing & Sales Coordinator
Teena.Tatro@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4319

THE FLORIDA STATE FAIR AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS OF THE 2016 DIVERSITY APPRECIATION WALL OF FAME

TAMPA, FL — The Florida State Fair Authority is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Florida State Fair Diversity Community Leaders Wall of Fame. Through the online voting process, the following have been selected by popular vote to be honored; Dr. Walter L. Smith for the African American Wall of Fame, Priscilla Clark for the Hispanic Wall of Fame, and Hung Mai for the Asian-Pacific Wall of Fame. The committee selected Historical Honorees will be Doug Jamerson, a former Florida Commissioner of Education and Victoriano Manteiga, the founder of La Gaceta Newspaper.

All nominations were reviewed by the Fair State Fair Authority Diversity Committee members who chose five candidates for the African-American nomination, three candidates for the Hispanic nomination and two candidates for the Asian-Pacific nomination. The public voted online for their favorite nominee to determine those selected for the honor. Honorees will be recognized on the Wall of Fame at the 2016 Florida State Fair. The honorees and/or their immediate family members will be invited to the ceremony and presentation taking place on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Florida State Fair at 10:00 a.m. Location to be determined.

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

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Christmas in the Country

November 13, 2015
CONTACT:
Cindy Horton, Director of Museum Operations
Florida State Fair Authority
cindy.horton@freshfromflorida.com
(813) 627-4345
www.crackercountry.org


Experience an Old Florida Christmas at Cracker Country
Tampa, FL - How did rural Americans celebrate Christmas before malls, e-cards and twinkly electric lights? Experience a 19th century Florida Christmas in the Country at Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Christmas in the Country will take place Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Cracker Country is a living history museum that represents aspects of home life, commerce and transportation as it was in many rural Florida communities just before the turn of the 20th century. During Christmas in the Country, guests can stroll through the four-acre complex and experience seasonal décor, music and traditions in 13 original buildings, including a train depot, historic homes, general store, post office, blacksmith shop and more. Guests can create holiday keepsakes like salt dough ornaments, beeswax candles, sachets and cornucopias, and help with the everyday chores like churning butter and cleaning laundry with an old-fashioned washboard.
Christmas in the Country also features an exhibit of Victorian holiday cards, which became popular in America in the late 1800s.
Little Girl and the Dreadful Snakes Bluegrass Band will perform onstage throughout the day.
Admission to Christmas in the Country is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and children ages 6-12. Scouts in uniform receive a discounted admission of $5. Children 5 and under admitted FREE. Parking is $6 per car. Please enter the Fairgrounds via the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard entrance.
Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country Cracker Country is located on the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 Highway 301 North, Tampa, FL 33610.
Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
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New Student Chef Ambassador

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
11/10/2015 I Press Release
Leon County Student Named Regional Student Chef Ambassador
Emily Turner, New Student Chef Ambassador for Northwest Region
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam congratulates Emily Turner, a 12th-grader from Leon County, for being named the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' regional Student Chef Ambassador for Northwest Florida. Emily created and prepared an original “Portabella Wrap Snack” recipe to win the cooking competition. As a Student Chef Ambassador, she will be invited to compete at the Florida State Fair against other regional high school cook-off winners for additional prizes and the title of Florida's Student Chef Ambassador.
“Our goal is to encourage children in Florida to learn how to incorporate healthy foods into their meals and to enjoy the process of preparing the meal,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Studies show that kids who have a hand in preparing their meals are more likely to eat healthy foods and to choose fruits and vegetables over snacks and junk food.”
Nine students from the Northwest Florida area were selected from students throughout the region who submitted healthy snack recipes featuring a fresh Florida product to be judged on taste, presentation/appeal, technique and originality. These qualifying round winners were invited to cook their recipe for a panel of judges at Publix Aprons Cooking Schools. One winner was picked in each grade category (fourth-fifth, sixth-eighth and ninth-12th).
The middle school winner was Ellen Turner, a sixth-grader from Leon County, who prepared “Ellen's Smokey Salmon Wrappy Snack.” The elementary school winner was Kate Butler, a fifth-grader from Killearn Lakes Elementary in Leon County, who prepared “Chocolate Banana Berry Blast.”
The students' recipes were judged by: Chef Levi Newsome, Publix Aprons Resident Chef; Keith Baxter, Executive Chef and Owner of Kool Beanz Café; and Judy Langston, Executive Chef and Owner of Taste Budz Catering.
All students who competed received a free Publix Aprons Cooking School certificate. In addition, third-place winners received a $50 gift certificate to Sports Authority; second-place winners a $75 gift certificate; and first-place winners a $100 gift certificate, as well as a gift bag from Publix.
Upcoming regional cook-offs include:
Jacksonville: Northeast – Nov. 14, 2015
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New! Winning Recipes Cookbook

October 26, 2015

CONTACT:
Terri Parnell Longphee
Sr. Director of Marketing and Sales
Terri.Parnell@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4218
New Winning Recipes Cookbook From 2015 Florida State Fair Now Available
TAMPA, FL –The most delectable foods from the 2015 Florida State Fair baking and preserving competitions are now more than a memory. The 2015 Winners’ Recipe Cookbook is available for public purchase at www.floridastatefair.com. The Cookbook features the recipes from the top winners of this past years’ Fair competitive baking and preserving in more than 50 different categories. The 12-day State Fair, which is the first State Fair in the Nation, is a popular venue for baking, preserving and other Florida Living competitions. The Fair also showcases entertainment, agricultural/livestock, arts and crafts and educational programming. The upcoming 2016 Florida State Fair runs from February 4th through February 15th, and is located at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at US 301 N. and I-4.

Winning recipes in the 2015 cookbook were selected from over 1000 entries in the baking and preserving categories. The new limited edition,100+ page cookbook features easy-to-read preparation instructions and select color photos of the prepared foods in each division. Those interested can purchase the cookbook for $16.00 on the Fair’s Website using a credit card. Shipping within the U.S. is included.

“The Fair is known for food, and there’s no question that our attendees enjoy eating,” says Chuck Pesano, Executive Director of the Florida
State Fair Authority. “The new Florida State Fair Cookbook represents the very best of the best in the culinary competitions; I’d compare it to a greatest hits in music. I think everyone will find the book’s visual presentation very refreshing and inviting.”

From as early as the turn of the century, baking and preserving competitions have been an integral component of State and County Fairs all over the Nation. In fact, as early as 1959, the culinary competitive exhibits requirements were mandated into Florida State Statue that applies to the State Fair. In recent years, the Florida State Fair has seen resurgence in interest in the baking and preserving, and other family living competition categories.

“The emphasis on healthy fresh, home-made foods and handmade items in the last few years has really had a positive impact on our competitive exhibit entries,” continues Chuck Pesano. “The Florida State Fair offers an excellent venue for Florida residents to be recognized for their creative talents.”

For Florida residents interested in competing, exhibit entry applications for the 2016 Fair are now available at www.floridastatefair.com. In addition to culinary categories, 25 other competitive areas include horticulture, woodworking, arts and crafts, photography, technology and more. Based on current interest and last year’s 5300 total entries, the Fair is anticipating an all time high in entries, possibly topping 6000.

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
For more information, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4375.

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2016 Fair Applications

October 12, 2015

CONTACT:
Jennifer O'Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O'Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
Vendor and Competitive Exhibit Entry Applications Now Available for 2016 Florida State Fair - February 4th-15th

TAMPA, FL –Those vendors, artists, craftsman, and baking and canning enthusiasts interested in partaking in the 2016 Florida State Fair festivities can now secure their application online at www.floridastatefair.com. The 12-day event, which is the first State Fair in the Nation, has become a popular venue for vendors and competitors to debut and test many of their latest creations. A variety of participating vendors will include retail merchants, retail demonstrators, handmade arts and crafters, indoor and outdoor food concessionaires, and amusement and ride operators. The Fair will also showcase agricultural/livestock, family living, photography, and arts and crafts competitions. The 2016 Florida State Fair runs from February 4th through February 15th, 2016, and is located at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at US 301 N. and I-4.
Vendor applications are reviewed and accepted on a first come, first served basis. The Fair is encouraging interested vendors to complete their applications early, as in 2015, vendor demand exceeded supply and some vendors were turned away. The Florida State Fair offers vendors a multitude of exhibit space options including 88,000 sq. ft. indoor retail space and 24,000 sq. ft. indoor space for arts and crafts. Additionally, available outdoor vendor spaces sizes range anywhere from 10 frontage ft. to 100 frontage ft. Criteria for each vendor area is listed on the individual application.
“The Florida State Fair offers incredible exposure for both vendors and competitors. We are seeing more applications and more people recognizing how the Florida State Fair can get them in front of many thousands of visitors,” says Chuck Pesano, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “With our new, outdoor entertainment area and renovated facilities this year, we expect to see increased attendance. There will be ‘so much more for Fairgoers to explore’ with all of the exciting things in the works.”
Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
For more information or vendor applications, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.
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La Feria de la Familia returns to Fairgrounds


September 23, 2015

Contact: Jose Ibal
813-319-4949 ext. 238

Tampa Bay's Premiere Hispanic Event, La Feria de la Familia® Returns to the Florida State Fairgrounds
The free family event features information, services, celebrity appearances and musical performances

TAMPA, FL - Telemundo Tampa welcomes the 11th edition of La Feria de la Familia®, presented by Winn Dixie, on Sunday, October 4 from 12pm to 6pm at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The free expo provides the local Hispanic community with a full day of live entertainment, information and resources in a fun family atmosphere. Held annually during Hispanic Heritage Month, La Feria de la Familia® celebrates the community's traditions and culture.

Attendees of La Feria de la Familia® will learn about businesses and services available in the Tampa Bay area.
They will participate in exciting games and contests and have the unique opportunity to meet their favorite Telemundo personalities alongside Telemundo Tampa's local news team,Telenoticias Tampa.

This year Telemundo Tampa's La Feria de la Familia® will pack star power. One of the most recognized and beloved personalities in Spanish-language television, Gaby Espino, will be onsite alongside Fabian Rios, most recently seen as the villain on Telemundo' s recent hit Tierra de Reyes.
The main stage will be emceed by radio host and Boxeo Telemundo presenter Gaby Calderon, and telenovela actress Alexandra Pomales. Entertainment will include games, live performances by bachata group Royalty and reggaeton duo Jayma and Dalex. Sol Caribe will perform a tribute to the Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz in anticipation of the upcoming series, Celia that debuts on Telemundo Tampa on October 13 at 8pm. Season three champion of La Voz Kids (The Voice Kids), Jonael Santiago, will perform the hits that made him the viewer favorite. The event will conclude with a stellar performance by merengue institution, Los Hermanos Rosario.

As part of the La Feria de la Familia® festivities, attendees will be able to act as special Telenoticias Tampa weather correspondents for the day with weather and entertainment presenter Raengel Solis.There will be an area dedicated to children with face painting, clowns and performances from their favorite cartoon characters
"La Feria de la Familia is so much more than an expo. With the support of our partners and viewers, the event has grown exponentially and truly offers something for everyone," said Jayme Ribeiro Neto, General Manager of Telemundo Tampa. He added, "We are very happy to see how it has become such an integral part of Tampa's community and we are looking forward to this year's La Feria."

La Feria de la Familia®
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Florida State Fairgrounds
4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 North
Tampa, FL 33610
12pm to 6pm

Free Admission

Over the years, La Feria de La Familia® has established itself as a dynamic and powerful forum. Connecting businesses to the Hispanic community, showcasing products and strengthening brands, La Feria de La Familia® is an interactive expo of exceptional quality, guaranteed to inform, empower and entertain.
#LaFeriadelaFamilia

WRMD Telemundo Tampa is owned by ZGS Communications, a Hispanic-owned media company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia that owns 9 Spanish-language television stations, representing the largest group of independent stations affiliated with the Telemundo television network. Telemundo Tampa prides itself on its commitment to service, local programming, and the celebration of Hispanic heritage. Telemundo, a U.S. Spanish-language television network is the essential entertainment, news, and sports source for Hispanics. Broadcasting unique national and local programming for the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, Telemundo reaches 94% of U.S. Hispanic viewers in 210 markets. Visit Telemundo Tampa on www.holaciudad.com, a Spanish language web portal.

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Fresh From Florida Student Cook-Off Finale

September 9, 2015
CONTACT:
Jennifer O'Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O'Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
Fresh for Florida Student Cook-Off Finale Slated for 2016 Florida State Fair in February
TAMPA, FL – First place winning Student Chefs in grades 9-12 from six different Florida regions will compete for the title of Fresh for Florida Kids Student Chef at the 112th Florida State Fair on February 6th, 2016. In addition to the title, the winner of the competition, sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will receive a $500.00 gift card. The Florida State Fair runs February 4th through 15th, 2016, and is located at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at US 301 N. and I-4.

“We are looking forward to have this prestigious, state wide competition finale at the 2016 Fair,” says Charles Pesano, Executive Director. “We love the opportunity to include both youth and education in our Fair programming, and this cooking competition has generated so much fun and excitement that we just can’t wait.”

Under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness, and also Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, “Fresh for Florida Kids" is actively searching for student chefs during this 2015-2016 school year. Students in grades 4-12 are invited to enter their original, healthy snack recipe using a fresh fruit or vegetable grown in Florida for a chance to compete at a regional cook-off and win prizes.
Regional winners that compete in the finale will receive prizes and hotel accommodations for one night's stay in Tampa, Florida, to attend the State Finale Cook-Off at the Florida State Fair. The finale winner will receive a $500 gift card and the important title of the Fresh for Florida Kids Student Chef for 2015-2016.

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programing. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities.
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly
from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

For more information on the student cook off finale or the Florida State Fair, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.

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Fair Authority Takes Home Three Top FFEA SUNsational Awards

August 17, 2015
CONTACT:
Jennifer O'Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O'Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
Florida State Fair Authority Takes Home Three Top FFEA SUNsational Awards for 2015 Florida State Fair
TAMPA, FL – The Florida State Fair Authority announced they are the recipients of three top 2015 FFEA (Florida Festivals & Events Association) SUNsational Awards. The awards were received for advertising and promotions created for the 2015 Florida State Fair in February with the campaign theme, A Timeless Tradition. The awards were first place, Outdoor Advertising (Timeless Tradition billboard); second place, Multimedia Marketing and Programming (9/11 Never Forget Exhibit); and third place, Promotional Item (Timeless Tradition Specialty Plate). The Florida State Fair is a 12-day showcase of entertainment, educational and cultural events and exhibits, and agriculture. The 2016 Florida State Fair runs February 4th through 15th, 2016, and is located at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at US 301 N. and I-4.
The FFEA Awards Program recognizes the creativity,
innovation and excellence of its members. The organization unveiled the winners the winners of its annual SUNsational Awards during its 21st annual convention and tradeshow earlier this month in Orlando. Hundreds of nominations were accepted from events and festivals throughout the State of Florida in several categories including Printed Materials, Outdoor Advertisement, PR/Media Campaign, Photo; Promotional Item, T-shirt; Broadcast Media, and Multimedia Marketing and Programming.
Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
For more information on the Florida State Fair, visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds, online at www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.
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Congratulations Fair Authority Staff!

July 27, 2015
CONTACT:
Jennifer O’Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O’Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
Florida State Fair Authority Announces Personnel Appointments and Promotions
TAMPA, FL – The Florida State Fair Authority is pleased to announce several new appointments and promotions within the organization. Vladimir Sergienko has been named Facilities Director, and Brian Keller named Sr. Event Services Manager. Other personnel promotions include Terri Parnell Longphee named as Sr. Director of Sales and Marketing, John Prestianni named as Sr. Director of Finance, and Jennifer Wanecski named as Programs Manager of the Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton Jr. Cracker Country living history museum. The Florida State Fairgrounds are located at 4800 U.S. 301 N., in Tampa, FL.
“We are fortunate to already have such talented and dedicated leaders on our staff, and we recognize them,” says Charles Pesano, Executive Director. “These Directors and Managers have a wealth of experience and industry knowledge that has made them an integral part of the Fair Authority team.” He goes on to say, “These
appointments and promotions are a sign of our commitment to excellence for our clients, and for our Fair and event patrons.”
Formerly with IKEA USA and Transitions Optical, Mr. Sergienko received a Diploma in Electrical Equipment from Latvia Technical University. He is a licensed Master Electrician and carries a HVAC/R certification, is trained in OSHA, EPA and ADA regulations, and is a member of the IFMA (International Facility Management Association). He began with the Florida State Fair Authority last year.
Brian Keller joined the Fair Authority in late 2014 with nearly 25 years Fair Industry experience. Previously with the South Florida Fair and Palm Beach County Expositions, Mr. Keller is a graduate of the Palm Beach County Leadership Program, and a member of the National Independent Concessionaire Association (NICA) and the Florida Federation of Fairs (FFF). Later this year, he is scheduled to complete his Diploma Certification from the IAFE Institute of Fair Management. Also, Mr. Keller worked for the Florida State Fair Authority prior to 2005.
Ms. Parnell Longphee came to the Fair Authority in 2010 with over 20 years sales and marketing experience. She was National Sales Manager for Tampa Bay & Company (Convention and Visitors Bureau), Director of Communications for the Florida Olympic Bid Committee, and held various positions for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Terri is a graduate of the University of Florida and an active alumna.
Previously with the DeBartolo Corporation, Mr. Prestianni joined the Fair Authority in 2009. He is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland (previously Loyola College Maryland).
Ms. Wanecski began as an intern at the Fair Authority in Cracker Country living history museum in 2009. She later received her Bachelors degree from the University of South Florida, and Masters degree from John Hopkins University.
Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
For more information, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.
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World's Largest Food Truck Festival Ever! 3

March 25, 2015

CONTACT:
Jennifer O’Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O’Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318

World’s Largest Food Truck Festival Ever! 3, March 28th and 29th
Food Truck Vendors Turn Food Passions into Profit

TAMPA, FL – From chowder to chai tea, ribs to Ruben sandwiches, pad thai to pierogies, hot dogs to dog treats and everything in-between, foodies from all over Florida will find that and then some in the way of culinary creations at the World’s Largest Food Truck Festival Ever! 3, March 28 and 29 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

In addition to taste-tempting treats, food truckers’ entrepreneurial spirit and creativity will be on display. On March 29th of last year, the festival broke the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the largest parade of food trucks, with 121 of 200 plus food trucks qualifying.

This year’s entertainment from six bands will include Randy McNeeley, Radio Crime, Drastic Fall, Charisma and the John Rhey Band. A Kid’s Fun Zone activity area will feature inflatables with bounce houses, an inflatable slide and more.

Highlighted below are some of this year’s Food Trucks:

Monsta Lobster – Out of Orlando and a third year veteran of the Festival, Kurt Andereaus’s New England-themed seafood truck will serve up barrels of Lobster Bisque, Clam Chowder and the ever-popular Lobster Roll.

A corporate casualty of the economic downturn, an unemployed Andereaus researched possible professions and created a food truck business model that “seemed to make sense.” That decision has paid off, and in the last two years he has added a second trailer to his business.

Give and Grub – This unique truck serves a meal with a mission. Founded by the Laser Spine Institute and the Tampa Bay Lightning, Give and Grub gives back to the community by donating a free meal to children or families for each meal they sell.

A first-timer to the festival, Give and Grub boasts delicious and unique gourmet menu items including Cooper’s Candied Burger, Hat Trick Chicken Sliders and Callahan’s Mac Slam. Give and Grub project organizers say the truck has been “very well-received.” With the help of Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding America Tampa Bay, hungry families have something to smile about. At the beginning of this month, Give and Grub reported that it surpassed the 25,000 mark for meals donated.

Dog Gone Healthy – Jodi Parresol always loved the idea of improving care for pets. Five years ago, she started making two different pet treats and selling them under a tent in her local Spring Hill, Florida farmer’s market. Two years ago, her growing business lead her to a food truck designed specifically for her furry friends, and a then a storefront on the main drag in her hometown.

Attending the event for the second time, and feeling successful, Parresol offers over 30 different healthy pet products from her food truck. She has many regular customers, and loves the interaction with people and their pooches.

A single day event that began in 2013 with a vision to break the previous food truck parade record in Miami, and provide positive entertainment to local patrons, turned into whopping success with 100 participating food trucks and attendance nearing 20,000. This year’s two-day event attendance is expected to exceed 25,000.

Based in Tampa, Florida, and founded in 2012, Generation Food Truck is a promotional food truck company, run by gourmet food truck owners and handles booking, catering and food truck festival coordination. The company is also known for hosting the Next Gen Gourmet Food Festivals at various locations throughout Tampa Bay.

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

For more information about the event, visit www.floridastatefair.com, or call 813-562-9599 or 813-627-4318.
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World's Largest Food Truck Festival Ever! 3

March 2, 2015

CONTACT:
Jennifer O’Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O’Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318

World’s Largest Food Truck Festival Ever!, 3
Returns Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th at Florida State Fairgrounds and Is Accepting Food Truck and Vendor Applications

TAMPA, FL - The third World’s Largest Food Truck Festival, a weekend of gourmet food, live music, and activities for the entire family, will take place at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Saturday, March 28th from 11am to 7pm, and Sunday, March 29th from 11am to 6pm. Presented again this year by Generation Food Truck and the Florida State Fair Authority, the World’s Largest Food Truck Festival Ever!, 3, is accepting Food Truck and Vendor applications. Admission to the event is free, and parking is $6 per vehicle. Kids Fun Zone activities are an additional cost. The Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 U.S. Highway 301 North, Tampa, Florida, 33610.

This year’s event expects to see participation from over 100 plus food trucks with delicacies from throughout Florida and the U.S, and a variety of retail and service vendors. Food Truck offerings include nearly every kind of food imaginable from pad thai to pierogies, churros to chicken wings, and seafood to sweet potato pie. On March 29, 2014, the festival broke the official GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the largest parade of food trucks, with 121 of 200 plus food trucks qualifying.

The weekend festival is sponsored by the Tampa Tribune/TBO, and musical sponsor, 98 Rock. Entertainment from six bands will include Randy McNeely, Radio Crime, Drastic Fall, Charisma and the John Rhey Band. A Kid’s Fun Zone activity area will feature inflatables with bounce houses, an inflatable slide and more.

Again, patrons will also be encouraged to cast their vote for their favorite food truck in three categories; Best Tasting Food, Most Unique Food and Best Presentation. The People’s Choice Awards will be presented on Sunday to a food truck recipient in each category.

A single day event that began in 2013 with a vision to break the previous food truck parade record in Miami, and provide positive entertainment to local patrons, turned into whopping success with 100 participating food trucks and attendance nearing 20,000. This year’s two-day event attendance is expected to exceed 30,000.

Based in Tampa, Florida, and founded in 2012, Generation Food Truck is a promotional food truck company, run by gourmet food truck owners and handles booking, catering and food truck festival coordination. The company is also known for hosting the Next Gen Gourmet Food Festivals at various locations throughout Tampa Bay.

“Once again, we are honored to partner with the Florida State Fair Authority, and present such a high-caliber food truck event to Tampa Bay,” says Jeremy Gomez, Co-owner of Generation Food Truck. “The festival continues to grow, and is gaining national credibility each and every year!”

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

The Festival is still accepting Food Truck and vendor applications. To apply, or for more information about the event, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4317.

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Largest Inflatable Duck Gets a Name

February 24, 2015

CONTACT:
Jennifer O’Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O’Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318

Giant Inflatable Duck at Florida State Fairgrounds Is Formally Named

TAMPA, FL – The largest inflatable duck in Florida finally has a name. The Florida State Fair Authority’s sponsor partner, Spa Manufacturers, Inc., has announced the winning name of “Bubbles” for the 30-foot tall and 21-foot wide inflatable icon that greeted visitors during the 2015 Fair and will continue to do so in the upcoming year. The Florida State Fairgrounds are located at 4800 U.S. 301 N., in Tampa, FL.

The giant yellow landmark that was erected at the Florida State Fairgrounds in November of 2014 has created substantial public interest. As a result, during the 2015 Fair, Spa Manufacturers ran a “name the duck contest,” inviting Fair patrons to submit their suggestion for a name. Wanda from Gulfport submitted the name that was the randomly chosen, and won four, two-day Orlando Disney park hopper passes.

The birth of the big inflatable duck logo icon began a number of years ago when Spa Manufacturers was looking for creative ways to make their Ulmerton Road location in Clearwater, FL more conspicuous after months of road construction hindered the business’s street visibility.

“This is the largest inflatable duck anywhere in Florida and we are happy to finally call her by name,” says Cindi Magray, President of Spa Manufacturers. “People visiting the Fair and all over identify with the duck, and identify with us as the big yellow duck company, so that’s why we’ve trademarked this.” She goes on to say, “Being a year-round partner means a lot to us. Mr. Pesano does an amazing job. Myself and staff are very proud to have our name associated with the Florida State Fairgrounds.”

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the Fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

For more information, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4227.

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The Votes Are In!

FOR MORE MEDIA INFORMATION:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
candace@kilroycommunications.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 22, 2015
THE VOTES ARE IN!
(TAMPA, FL) - Florida State Fairgoers have decided some
of the burgers they want to see on the menu at this year’s Florida State Fair. In voting for the first-ever People’s Choice Burger, the Parmesan Crusted Burger is the winner! In second place, Fairgoers will have the opportunity to enjoy the Jalapeno Crusted Burger. Both burgers will appear on the menu when the Florida State Fair begins in Tampa on February 5-16, 2015. The Deep Fried Oreo Burger was a very close third, just eight votes away from being on the menu.
With a total of 1,172 votes, here is how the burgers stacked up:
1) Parmesan Crusted Burger – 375 votes
2) Jalapeno Crusted Burger – 246 votes
3) Deep Fried Oreo Burger – 238 votes
4) Burger of the Gods – 188 votes
5) Holiday Express – 125 votes
Here are the descriptions of the two winning burgers:
Jalapeno Crusted Burger: A twice-fried burger patty coated with a corn chip/jalapeno mix until its crispy. Then topped with shredded Mexican-style cheese (melted with a kitchen torch), guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
Parmesan Crusted Burger: A twice-fried burger patty coated with a potato chip/parmesan-romano cheese mixture until crispy. Topped
with bacon, a mayonnaise-parmesan sauce and torched until melted. Finish with your favorite condiments.
High resolution photos of all burgers, the winners and the losers, are available at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3r9tedyb3dffrz5/AADwIWLL2l5KLki1fms-Zuvea?dl=0
Thanks to all who participated in the voting!
For more Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com.
Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter @flstfairgrounds.
About the Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.
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Tastes for Every Palate at the Florida State Fair

FOR MORE MEDIA INFORMATION:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
candace@kilroycommunications.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 16, 2015

Tastes for Every Palate at the Florida State Fair
People’s Choice voting gives Fairgoers a chance to help decide menu

(TAMPA, FL)- The Florida State Fair is known for providing an eclectic variety of foods, in addition to hot dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes. This year, some new twists are on tap, and Fairgoers can join in by voting for two of their favorite People’s Choice burgers.

“Over the years, food has become an extremely important part of the fair experience,” said Charles C. Pesano, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “As the first State Fair in the country, Florida has introduced items such as the Donut Burger to America. Our vendors work so hard to bring fair-goers the newest, most delicious foods - we’re always excited to taste the newest creations.”

This year, from January 16 through January 21, Fairgoers will be able to go online to www.FloridaStateFair.com to vote for their favorite People’s Choice burgers. Only the top two new burgers will be featured on the menu. Choose from the following:

Burger of the Gods: A beef patty topped with brie, bacon, and an apple, maple compote on a toasted bun.

Deep Fried Oreo Burger: A beef patty fried on the griddle then dredged through an Oreo cookie batter and deep-fried. Add bacon, glaze, and crumbled Oreos. There’s even an extra Oreo included for dessert!

Holiday Express Burger: Thanksgiving on a bun! A beef patty topped with Havarti cheese, bacon, stuffing, sweet potato fries and a cranberry-orange marmalade sauce on a toasted bun.

Jalapeno Crusted Burger: A twice-fried burger patty coated with a corn chip/jalapeno mix until its crispy. Then topped with shredded Mexican-style cheese (melted with a kitchen torch), guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.

Parmesan Crusted Burger: A twice-fried burger patty coated with a potato chip/parmesan-romano cheese mixture until crispy. Topped with bacon, a mayonnaise-parmesan sauce and torched until melted. Finish with your favorite condiments.

Be sure to visit the website regularly for updates, which will also be posted on Facebook.com/FloridaStateFairgrounds and on Twitter @Flstfairgrounds.

Some other notable food highlights include:
Cronut: The bakery sensation that’s been sweeping the country arrives at the Florida State Fair. A light and fluffy hybrid of a doughnut and croissant, it’s a not-to-be-missed taste sensation.

Funnel Cake Cheeseburger: A juicy cheeseburger nestled in between two, crunchy, glazed funnel cakes, topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickle.

Give your taste buds an adventure at this year’s Florida State Fair!

For more Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter @flstfairgrounds.

About the Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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A World of Entertainment at the Florida State Fair

FOR MORE MEDIA INFORMATION:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
candace@kilroycommunications.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 16, 2015

A WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT TO BE SHOWCASED AT 2015 FLORIDA STATE FAIR CONCERTS ABOUND FOR EVERY MUSICAL TASTE


(TAMPA, FL)- An outstanding concert series is on tap for the 2015 Florida State Fair, with a wide array of popular acts to please visitors of all ages and musical tastes. This year’s line up includes legendary acts such as The Charlie Daniels Band,The 5th Dimension; Susie McEntire; tribute acts Beatlemania Live and Lazy Bonez; hip hop artists Andy Mineo and Bizzle; and two concerts from the always popular Country Gold Tour. What’s more, most concerts are FREE with gate admission to the Fair.
After breaking onto the music scene in the 70’s, The Charlie Daniels Band earned international acclaim with their chart-topping hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” The toe-tapping anthem with crossover appeal found a place on both the country and pop music charts, earned the band a Grammy and Country Music Award, and propelled their debut album to triple Platinum-selling status. In 50 years of music making, The Charlie Daniels Band has enjoyed hits including “Uneasy Rider,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” and “The Legend of Wooley Swamp.” In addition to his music, Charlie Daniels lends his time and talents to a number of charitable events, including an annual celebrity gold tournament and Angelus Concert in Hudson, Florida. The Charlie Daniels Band performs on Monday, February 16 beginning at 7 p.m.
The 5th Dimension hit the charts with “Up, Up, and Away” and in doing so helped define a generation. The song catapulted the vocal group to stardom and they haven’t stop since. Since 1967, The 5th Dimension has earned six Grammy Awards and released more than a dozen hit records with memorable songs such as “Age of Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” and “One Less Bell to Answer.” More than forty-five years later, the intricate harmonies of The 5th Dimension featuring original member Florence LaRue continue to make the group a favorite with audiences in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and at other popular venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Disney World. Don’t miss The 5th Dimension on Friday, February 13 beginning at 7 p.m.
The always-popular Country Gold Tour expands to two concerts with two separate line-ups of award-winning artists performing classic country standards. On Tuesday, February 10, legendary singer Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius and Billy Dean take the stage. The following day Wednesday, February 11, Leroy Van Dyke is joined on stage with performances by Eddy Raven, Johnny Lee, and Moe Bandy. Both performances begin at 2 p.m. A separate ticket for the Country Gold Tour is required. Advance tickets are $15 for VIP Floor seats or $10 for General Admission seats and may be purchased online at www.FloridaStateFair.com, through the Fair box office, or by calling 1-800-345-FAIR (3247).

Tribute bands will be the highlight of Valentine’s Day Weekend at the Fair. On Saturday, February 14 at 7 p.m. be transported to the 60’s with Beatlemania Live. The band captures the songs and spirit of the original Fab Four with original model guitars and drums, just like the ones used by the Beatles, along with theatrical make-up, original costumes, and stage choreography to authentically recreate the image of a live Beatles concert.
Elvis fans won’t be left out as the Elvis Extravaganza National Championships return to the State Fair. Check out dozens of the country’s best Elvis impersonators competing in this three-day event beginning February 13 through February 15 from 3 – 4 p.m. each day. Another Fair favorite is entertainer Dennis Lee, who has performed every year for more than three decades. During the 12 days of the Fair, he’ll perform daily at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Fairgoers can enjoy songs from the 80’s when tribute band, Lazy Bonez takes the stage for two performances on Sunday, February 15 at 12 noon and 7 p.m. Rather than emulate one specific band, Lazy Bonez celebrates the genre of 80’s rock with high energy performances of songs from legendary bands such as Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Journey, Poison and Def Leppard.
The weekend will also host country gospel singer Susie McEntire. With four singles on the Positive Country charts, the younger sister of music legend Reba McEntire has been name “Artist of the Year” multiple times by her peers in the genre. Susie McEntire performs Friday, February 13 though Monday, February 16 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m.
National hip hop recording artists Bizzle and Andy Mineo make their debut at the Florida State Fair on Monday, February 6 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively. Having opened for artists such as Lil’ Wayne, Bizzle’s sophomore album, The Good Fight, debuted on both the Billboard Top Rap and Gospel Album charts in 2013. Andy Mineo, is known for bringing audiences to their feet with his high-octane performances. He is expected to perform songs from his latest disc, Never Land, which debuted last year.

All performances will be held at Entertainment Hall, with the exception of Dennis Lee and Susie McEntire, who can be seen at the Tampa Bay Times Stage.


AT A GLANCE:
February 5 – 16 Dennis Lee 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Friday, February 6 Bizzle 4:30 p.m. Andy Mineo 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 10 Country Gold Tour 2 p.m. *
Wednesday, February 11 Country Gold Tour 2 p.m. *
Friday, February 13 Elvis Extravaganza 3 p.m.
The 5th Dimension 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 14 Elvis Extravaganza 3 p.m.
Beatlemania Live 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 15 Elvis Extravaganza 3 p.m.
Lazy Bonez 12 noon & 7:00 p.m.
Monday, February 16 The Charlie Daniels Band 7:00 p.m.
*Additional tickets required for Country Gold Tour
For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. Be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter @flstfairgrounds.

About the Florida State Fair:
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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Thrilling Rides & Spectacular Views

FOR MORE MEDIA INFORMATION:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
candace@kilroycommunications.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 16, 2015
Thrilling Rides and Spectacular Views Bring Excitement to the Midway

(TAMPA, FL)- With more than 111 to choose from, what’s truly HOT at the State Fair are the rides. There’s something for thrill-seekers or those looking for a spectacular view. As always, the Florida State Fair offers rides from kiddie size to larger-than-life spectaculars and an expanded offering of rides the whole family can enjoy together.

Here are some of this year’s NEW offerings:

Observation Tower: An industry first and making its debut at the Florida State Fair, the Observation Tower is the first portable tower of its kind. Covered gondolas slide up 80 feet into the air then slowly rotate 360-degrees, giving riders a spectacular view.

Delusion: A can’t-miss for adrenalin junkies! This thrilling ride launches a tower with seats into the air, spinning several revolutions per minute up and around giving passengers the feeling the sensation of being suspended in air. One of only two rides of its kind in the U.S. and the only one east of the Mississippi.

Disk’O: Riders will get a rush on this U-shaped adult roller coaster. It simultaneously combines a breathtaking rocking and spinning motion as it positions passengers on motorcycle-like pedestal seat facing outward.

Frenzy: This spectacular 65-foot-tall pendulum ride with an 80-foot swing is a heart-bounding challenge to equilibrium and G-force.

This year, a spectacular skyline of giant wheels will greet Fairgoers, including the Sky Wheel. Making a return to the Fair after many years, this double wheel features two large wheels attached to opposite ends of a horizontal tower that rotate in the air.

This year, Fairgoers will be able to use a new, convenient ticketing
process, designed for online one-stop-shopping for general admission,
unlimited ride armbands, Country Gold Tour and other special event tickets.

Two types of armbands featuring UNLIMITED RIDES are featured this year: Any Day Ride Armbands are $30 in advance and valid for any one day of the Fair during Midway open to close (Any Day Armband is not valid before 3 p.m. on February 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 2015).

Super Saver Ride Armband are $20 in advance and are valid for one day only starting at 5 p.m. on February 5, 9, 10,11, 12, 2015.

Once again this year, Fun Cards will replace paper ride tickets. The Fun Card allows Fair goers the same value of 4 ride tickets for $5 or 20 ride tickets for $20, but with the convenience of a reloadable card to use through the duration of the State Fair. Fun Cards can be purchased and reloaded at more than 20 locations on the Fairgrounds.

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.floridastatefair.com, in person
at the Fairgrounds Box Office or by phone, 1-800-345-FAIR (1-800-345-3247). Tickets are also available at Walgreens stores throughout Florida. Other significant discounts exist throughout the Fair on ride armbands, themed
promotional days and evening hours on select days. Check the Florida State Fair website for more details.

For additional updates, Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter @flstfairgrounds.

About the Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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Student Days Offer Free Fun

FOR MORE MEDIA INFORMATION:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
candace@kilroycommunications.com
Student Days Offer Free Fun
January 2015

(TAMPA, FL)- When this year’s 111th Annual Florida State Fair kicks off February 5-16 in Tampa, students from several surrounding counties be able to enjoy top-notch fun with free general admission tickets.

Students from the counties below will receive a free general admission ticket on the following dates:

Hardee February 8
Highlands & Citrus February 15
Manatee Pinellas, Polk & Sarasota February 16

Expanding on changes made last year, a new Student Day admission policy is in place. Students who enter the Fair with a free ticket after 6 p.m. must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years old or older. One adult may accompany up to four (4) students, and will be granted free admission into the Fair when entering after 6 p.m.

Each school district is responsible for distributing Student Day tickets. Private or religious schools may also participate in Student Days as well by contacting the State Fair Administration Office at 813-627-4360.

For updated Fair information, visit www.floridastatefair.com. And be sure to Like us on Facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds and Follow us on Twitter @flstfairgrounds.
About the Florida State Fair:
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State. The FSFA operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors.

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Timeless Traditions at the 111th Florida State Fair

FOR MORE MEDIA INFORMATION:
Lynn Kilroy – 813.610.3211
lynn@kilroycommunications.com
Candace Rotolo – 239.634.9401
candace@kilroycommunications.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 18, 2014
Enjoy Timeless Traditions At The 111TH Florida State Fair – February 5-16
The Charlie Daniels Band, 9/11 Never Forget Traveling Museum and Vietnam War Memorial Wall That Heals

Advance Tickets On Sale Now

(TAMPA, FL) -- The Florida State Fair Authority announces the 2015 Florida State Fair, scheduled to take place from February 5 – 16, 2015 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. With the theme, “A Timeless Tradition,” there will be plenty for Fairgoers to discover. Advance tickets are now available and can be purchased online at www.FloridaStateFair.com. Advance ticket prices are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors (select days) and $5 for children ages 6 -11. Children under 5 are free.

Fairgoers will notice a new look and feel, with a one-of-kind midway created exclusively for the Florida State Fair and guests will enjoy additional “comfort stations” throughout the fairgrounds. Free Concerts to suit every musical taste – ranging from headliner, The Charlie Daniels Band – to the Fifth Dimension, and Beatlemania Live are also on tap and most are free with gate admission. The always popular Country Gold Tour will include an additional concert on February 10 and 11 featuring a separate lineup of artists for each show. Country stars Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius and Billy Dean take the stage on February 10, followed by a concert with Moe Bandy, Eddy Raven, Johnny Lee and Leroy Van Dyke on February 11.

Also new this year is a one-of-a-kind carousel made entirely from balloons. Artists will use more than 10,000 balloons of all shapes and sizes to create the massive balloon sculpture, which will stand approximately 25 feet wide and 15 feet tall. Each day, Fairgoers can visit the Florida Center to see the daily progress of this amazing artistry. As always, the Fair also serves up some 6,000 amazing animals and livestock with an expanded agricultural area, more than 100 thrilling rides, fantastic fair food, arts and crafts, and other exciting entertainment throughout the twelve days of Fair fun.

The Florida State Fair is also pleased to feature two special, key exhibits. ‘The Wall That Heals’, a traveling scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, debuts on Opening Day and will be on display through February 9. The ‘9/11, Never Forget’ Traveling Museum, honoring all those who sacrificed during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, launches on February 10, with guest rescuers from the New York City Fire Department who will be on hand to share their first-hand accounts. Tampa Bay area first responders will also be on-site each day to provide equipment tours.

On Opening Day, February 5, and Closing Day, February 16 active, reserve or retired military veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and first responders will be honored with free admission (with valid identification) as part of our two Heroes Days.

This year, Fairgoers will be able to use a new, convenient ticketing process, designed for one-stop-shopping. Not only will guests be able to purchase general admission tickets and ride armbands, but also tickets for specialty events not included with admission, such as the Country Gold Tour.

The Timeless Tradition of the Florida State Fair comes just once a year. The key to having epic fun is to buy tickets early and save.

AT-A-GLANCE
When: February 5 - 16
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa 33610

Parking: FREE

Admission: Advance pricing is $7 for seniors aged 55+
(February 9, 10, 11, 12, 2015 only)
$9 for adults. $5 for children ages 6-11 (parking included)
Children 5 and under are FREE.

Any Day Ride Armbands - $30 in advance
(valid for any one day of the Fair during Midway open to close)
Any Day Armband is not valid before 3 p.m. on February 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 2015.
Super Saver Ride Armband - $20 in advance
(valid for one day only starting at 5 p.m. on February 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 2015)

Ticket Purchase: Online at www.FloridaStateFair.com
After January 4, 2015, tickets will be available at Walgreens stores throughout Florida.

Country Gold concert tickets for Tuesday, February 10 and Wednesday, February 11 can only be purchased through the Florida State Fair Authority. Shows will be at 2 pm each day.
All tickets are available through the Fair box office, website, mail or fax:
Call 1-800-345-FAIR (3247)
Mail must be postmarked by January 23rd

Other significant discounts exist throughout the Fair on ride armbands, themed promotional days and evening hours on select days. Check www.FloridaStateFair.com for details.

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Fair Unveils Key Exhibits & Campaign

Florida State Fair Unveils Key Exhibits and Campaign at Upcoming 2015 Fair
December 5, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jennifer O’Brien
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jennifer.O’Brien@freshfromflorida.com
813-627-4318
TAMPA, FL – The Florida State Fair has announced its 2015 promotional campaign theme and key exhibits for the annual twelve-day event. The promotional campaign theme, A Timeless Tradition, will include two poignant and patriotic mobile exhibitions. The Wall that Heals, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall and traveling educational museum, will run from opening day, February 5 through February 9. The 9/11 Never Forget Traveling Exhibit, a museum tribute and educational memorial of the events of September 11, 2001, will be on display from February 10 through February 16, the last day of the Fair. The 2015 Florida State Fair will be a showcase of educational exhibits, rides, food and entertainment, and is located at 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa, FL, and will run from February 5 – 16.

The Wall that Heals was created and is managed by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the same non-profit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. The Wall was designed to travel to communities throughout the United States and spread the Memorial's healing legacy, as a place where families and friends go to learn, remember and pay tribute to loved ones.

“We’re proud to bring The Wall That Heals to the Tampa Bay community,” commented Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Agriculture. “During the 2015 Florida State Fair, veterans, their families and others will have the opportunity to honor Americans who served in the Vietnam War and recognize the sacrifice they made on behalf of our great nation.”

The 9/11 Never Forget Traveling Exhibit was created in 2013 by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. A high-tech, tractor-trailer will unfold into a 1,100 square foot exhibit and provide interactive education, artifacts, news and video recordings, and live tours from FDNY heroes that share their personal 9/11 stories.

“We are grateful to have such extraordinary programming at the 2015 Fair,” says Doyle E. Carlton, III, Florida State Fair Authority Chairman of the Board. “Both the Wall that Heals, and the 9/11 Never Forget exhibits represent critical eras in American History,” Mr. Carlton continues. “We feel these will give an opportunity for reflection, inspiration and will strengthen all that view them.”

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities.
The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
For more information, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.

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Giant Inflatable Duck Makes Debut

GIANT INFLATABLE DUCK MAKES DEBUT AT THE FLORIDA STATE FAIRGROUNDS
November 12, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT - Jennifer O'Brien, 813-627-4318

TAMPA, FL – As of this afternoon, a giant yellow landmark has been erected at the Florida State Fairgrounds that has passersby doing a double take. The Florida State Fair Authority, and partner Spa Manufacturing, have announced that the largest inflatable duck in Florida has made its debut next to the Lake at the Fairground’s Orient Road entrance. The bright 30-foot tall and 21-foot wide inflatable icon will greet visitors all year-round. The Florida State Fairgrounds are located at 4800 U.S. 301 N., in Tampa, FL.

“We are delighted to have Spa Manufacturers as a partner, and have their huge logo mascot greet our guests,” says Chuck Pesano, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “This giant yellow duck helps us convey the Fair Authority’s mission of family fun and entertainment—it’s a perfect fit for us.”

The birth of the big inflatable duck logo icon began about 8 years ago when Spa Manufacturing was looking for creative ways to make their Ulmerton Road location in Largo, FL more conspicuous after months of road construction hindered the business’s street visibility.

“Now people know us as the big yellow duck company, that’s why we’ve trademarked this,” chuckled Cindi Magray, President of Spa Manufacturing. “We’ve been in the same location for 33 years, and after we put up our inflatable duck, it created a tremendous buzz. We encourage people to visit the Fairgrounds and check out just how massive the yellow duck is.”

Ms. Magray goes on to say, “The inflatable duck at the Fairgrounds is even 15% bigger than the duck at our Largo showroom and factory. We’ve been a Fair exhibitor for several decades, and we are so excited about continuing a long-term relationship that now we’re taking it to the next level. This is the largest inflatable duck anywhere in Florida and it represents “fun” for all ages—that’s what the Fair is about.”

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

The 2015 Fair runs from February 5-16, 2015.
For more information, contact Jennifer O'Brien at Jennifer.OBrien@freshfromflorida.com or call 813-627-4318.

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Exhibitor's Chose Steer for Youth Steer Futurity

EXHIBITORS CHOSE STEER FOR YOUTH STEER FUTURITY COMPETITION AT THE FLORIDA STATE FAIR
August 20, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT - Jennifer O'Brien, 813-627-4318

TAMPA, FL – Middle and High School Youth Steer Futurity participants had a field day at he Florida State Fair earlier this month. Program competitors, from across the State of Florida, took part in a day-long seminar and selected their steer to raise throughout the year in preparation for the Youth Futurity Steer Competition at the 2015 Florida State Fair February 5 – 16.

“We are so excited, we have some of the best steers ever,” said Vina Jean Banks, Director of Agribusiness for the Florida State Fair Authority. “We are looking forward to the exhibitors going home, raising their steers and bringing them back for the Fair. They learn so much about responsibility and gain integrity during the process.”

The Youth Steer Futurity program began at the Fair in 1989 with the intent of providing education and top quality steers for 4-H and FFA students to purchase and raise for competition. Under the program and during the days leading up to the Fair, exhibitors are required to complete a number of tasks including completing speaking engagements about the Futurity program to other 4-H or FFA exhibitors, keeping a detailed record book, and creating an educational poster about their steer project. When exhibitors return to the Fair with their steer, they will continue to participate in educational activities.

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.
For more information, contact Jennifer O'Brien at Jennifer.OBrien@freshfromflorida.com or call 813-627-4318.
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Fair Announces Election of 2015 Board of Directors Officers

FLORIDA STATE FAIR ANNOUNCES ELECTION OF 2015 BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS
August 4, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT - Jennifer O'Brien, 813-627-4318

TAMPA, FL – The Florida State Fair Authority is pleased to announce its election of the 2014-2015 Board of Directors Officers earlier this week. The new slate of officers are; Linda Syfrett of Okeechobee re-elected as Treasurer, John “Jack” T. Vogel of San Antonio elected Secretary, and Robert M. Thomas of Thonotosassa re-elected as Vice Chair. Doyle E. Carlton, III was re-elected as Chairman of the Board. Elections for officers are held annually and the Authority’s 19 Board Members serve a four-year term.

“I am very honored to have been re-elected and to be able to return as Chair,” says Doyle E. Carlton, III. “The Fair Authority has many great things in store this year.”

Newly appointed to the Board this year is Youth Member, Victoria Harris of Plant City. Victoria is State Secretary for the Florida FFA, and will hold a non-voting position.

As the Fairground’s governing body, the Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA), operates under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Authority’s 19 member Board of Directors. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. Although not common knowledge, the FSFA operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Even though the FSFA is an instrumentality of the State of Florida, it does not receive any public monies or annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, or the State of Florida.

For more information, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.
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Wade Shows New Midway Management Partner

FLORIDA STATE FAIR AUTHORITY AWARDS MIDWAY MANAGEMENT PARTNER CONTRACT TO WADE SHOWS FOR ANNUAL FLORIDA STATE FAIR
July 29, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT - Jennifer O'Brien, 813-627-4318

TAMPA, FL – The Florida State Fair Authority announced yesterday its Board of Directors has formally approved W.G. Wade Shows, Inc. as the new Florida State Fair Midway Manager. The Fair Authority’s Midway Evaluation Committee brought forth the Wade Shows recommendation to the Board after a formal Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) proposal and review process. Projected benefits of the 3-year agreement include increased patron safety, reduction of the Fair’s Midway overhead and increased revenue, and updated Midway brand and uniformity, all while allowing provisions for the Fair Authority to have final control. The contract will begin immediately and Wade Shows will provide a new Midway experience for the 2015 Florida State Fair from February 5-16.

“We are so pleased with this process and excited about the possibilities,” says Doyle E. Carlton, III, Florida State Fair Authority Chairman of the Board. “It is always good to have a fresh set of eyes, and Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows has been here at the Fair, and has so many great ideas to invigorate our Midway,” Mr. Carlton continues. “There will be a new design to the Midway that will be more family-friendly and lend itself to a very secure environment for Fairgoers to enjoy. We feel this move will be positive for all involved.”

From 1992 through 1997, and again from 2005 through 2014, the Florida State Fair has operated under an Independent Midway structure, where Midway operations such as rides games and food concessions (in the Midway) were fully managed and overseen by the Fair Authority. In recent years, hard costs, including staffing personnel costs have greatly increased.

The new Midway Management contract, considered a Hybrid Contract, ensures the Fair will continue to maintain the highest quality Midway. The Fair will retain the right of approval over the Midway layout and ride selection. Under the agreement the Florida State Fair will continue to set up and oversee the Mall area, and all non-midway food concessions, which is nearly 80% of total food operations during Fair time.

Wade Shows is the largest family-owned carnival business in the U.S. and plays more State Fairs than any other carnival company. Ranked by Carnival Warehouse magazine as the third largest carnival operator in the U.S. based on attendance, Wade has had a long-standing relationship with the Florida State Fair. The company has been a part of the Fair for 23 years, and has partnered with the Fair Authority on charitable events such as ‘Miles of Smiles” for underprivileged children. Founded in 1912, Wade successfully manages and/or operates numerous venues including the San Antonio Livestock Show & Exhibition, the Oklahoma State Fair, the South Florida Fair and the New York State Fair; all with an annual attendance range from 550,000 to 1.7 million.

“The Board’s decision to approve the Midway Management agreement will benefit all of us,” says Chuck Pesano, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “Since Wade Shows has been our largest Midway provider for the last ten plus years, the transition from Independent to Hybrid Midway should be nothing short of seamless. Frank Zaitshik of Wade Shows calls Tampa Bay his home and is invested in this community. He is committed to improving with us.”

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

For more information, visit www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.
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Vendor Applications Now Available

VENDOR APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE 2015 FLORIDA STATE FAIR, FEBRUARY 5TH-16TH
June 10, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT - Jennifer O'Brien, 813-627-4318

TAMPA, FL – Vendors interested in participating in the 2015 Florida State Fair can now secure their application online at www.floridastatefair.com. The 12-day event, which is the first State Fair in the Nation, has become a popular venue for vendors to debut and test many of their latest wares. A variety of participating vendors will include retail merchants, retail demonstrators, handmade artists and crafters, indoor and outdoor food concessionaires, and amusement and ride operators. The Fair will also showcase agricultural/livestock, family living, and arts and crafts competitors. The 2015 Florida State Fair runs from February 5th through February 16th, 2015, and is located at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at US 301 N. and I-4.
Applications are reviewed and accepted on a first come, first served basis. The Fair is encouraging vendors to complete their applications early, as in 2014, vendor demand exceeded supply and some vendors were turned away. The Florida State Fair offers vendors a multitude of exhibit space options including an 88,000 sq. ft. indoor retail space and 24,000 sq. ft. indoor space for arts and crafts. Additionally, available outdoor vendor spaces sizes range anywhere from 10 frontage ft. to 100 frontage ft. Criteria for each vendor area is listed on the individual application.

“With the overall economy improving, we are seeing more applications from interesting and novel vendors wanting to be a part of the Florida State Fair,” says Chuck Pesano, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “This year we will be giving fairgoers new and exciting experiences not only from dynamic, new attractions and entertainment, but also from new and exciting vendor offerings. We have some really special things in the works.”

Operating under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Board of Directors, the Florida State Fair Authority, located on the fairgrounds’ 330 acres in Tampa, Florida, strives to create positive entertainment experiences through the annual State Fair and variety of year-round events and quality competitive programs. The FSFA is committed to agriculture, education and community service with a focus on new opportunities. The Florida State Fair Authority (FSFA) operates strictly from revenues generated from the annual State Fair and other events throughout the year. Although the FSFA is an instrumentality of the state of Florida, it does not receive any annual tax appropriations from the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County or the State.

For more information, visit floridastatefair.com or call 813-627-4318.

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