Our Story - Deep-Fried History of the Florida State Fairgrounds
FLORIDA STATE FAIRGROUNDS.
The Florida State Fairgrounds believe that a good time brings people together, from its humble beginnings in 1904 to today's explosive events. Since our first fair in 1904, which was held at Henry B. Plant's Tampa Bay Hotel in downtown Tampa, this has been the heart of our efforts.
We merged with Tampa's Gasparilla Carnival in 1915 to create the largest, best, and most-deep-fried annual event of the year, now called the Florida State Fair. The event brought together community members from all corners of Florida to celebrate, compete and eat everything Florida.
We grew in popularity and so did the need for a governing board. The Florida State Fair Authority was established by the Florida State Legislature in 1975. We became an official organization and packed up our belongings and moved to the Florida State Fairgrounds, which you can find just off Interstate 4.
The Florida State Fairgrounds are a hub for community-oriented entertainment all year. Over 1.5 million people visit the Fairgrounds each year. They come to learn, have fun, and try new things. Although some things have changed over the years, our goals have not. Florida is still celebrated through exciting events, hands-on experiences, and educational opportunities.
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