New Attractions Lead the Way as State Fair Gets Face Lift

State Fairs have been a constant for almost 200 years since New York held the first state fair in the early 1800's. However this year, the Florida State Fair seems to have undergone a face lift with new thrills and new attractions.

Upon closing the South Florida Fair which marks the country's first Fair of the year, the Florida State Fair commenced this weekend, and was filled with new thrills and attractions.

The Florida State Fair is the nation's first state fair of the year and runs through February 15th.  "We tried to create a 'wow' factor this year by adding new rides and attractions which people haven't seen before, said Chuck Pesano, executive director of the Florida state fair.  This year's theme, "So Much More to Explore," reminds everyone about the seemingly endless attractions, food and exhibits to discover.  Here are the ones that seemed to be getting the biggest attention by fair goers this weekend.

"We tried to create a 'WOW' factor this year by adding new rides and attractions which people haven't seen before."

Chuck Pesano

Executive Director

While there seemed to be many more new rides than attractions this year, undoubtedly the most popular attractions happened to be located right next to each other, making it very difficult to squeeze down the walkway without having to dodge the crowd of people waiting to participate.  The Mission Impassable Laser Maze challenge which seemed right out of the movies had participants attempting to recover the stolen diamond without tripping the laser security beams.  If you make it past the Mission Impassable attraction, you run into a gauntlet of people surrounding a small tent which housed the next attraction.  Participants would dress up in funky looking hats and sunglasses and wear a green cloth draped wrapped under their head in order to produce a music video featuring their heads on an animated dancing body.  Its called the Face Dancers and the music was cool, the people were feeling it and it seemed as if this attraction may be the most popular in the fair. 

The Florida State Fair isn't playing around when it comes to food this year.  How about their funnel cake bacon cheeseburger which features a gut-busting burger with bacon, lettuce, tomato nestled between two crunchy fried, sugar glazed funnel cakes.  The Amish Baking Company boasts a new fan favorite called the Sweetheart Doughnut.  The traditional giant Amish donut is topped with fresh strawberries, hot fudge and cool whipped cream. 

If you make your way into the Florida center, you will find a new addition seated next to the arts and craft entries.  The new White House exhibit features a replica of the Oval Office and White House press briefing room, as well as a rendering of the White House lawn, the Capitol and a selection of former first lady's dresses.

Those who are looking for thrills should check-out the new and improved rides on the midway including the DiskO rollercoaster, the Super Cyclone, the Comet 2 rollercoaster and the Stampede which is a remake of the classic ferris wheel.  Its important to note that last year's fair featured the giant slide which had been with the fair for 30 years, but was damaged by the tornado.  So this year, the fair featured the largest portable giant slide in North America to fill-in.

One of the most popular Fair concerts, Country Gold, will return to the Entertainment Hall on February 9 and 10th as well as the Colt Ford concert on February 15th to close the fair out.

When: February 4-15
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 US Hwy 301 North, Tampa 33610
Parking: FREE
Admission: $7 for seniors, $9 for adults, $5 for children under 12.


Categories: Entrepreneurship, Amusement and Theme Parks, Operations

Tags: Attractions, Dougnuts, Face Dancers, Laser Maze, Mission Impassable, State Fair

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