The 2020 Florida State Fair is officially open for all the fun and food

An aerial view from SkyFOX on the morning of the first day for the 2020 Florida State Fair.

The lights are on at the Florida State Fairgrounds after state leaders literally flipped the switch this morning, though bad weather will cut opening day short.

Because of high winds and possible severe weather on Thursday, Florida State Fair officials decided to close the midway at 5 p.m. But everything will be open again as normal on Friday for the rest of the run through Feb. 17.

Fairgoers can ride the midway rides, seeing the animals, strolling through Cracker Country and dive into plenty of fresh and fried fair food – but there are some exclusive 2020 goodies this time around.

The steak-and-egg sundae layered with fresh-cut fries, homemade cheesy grits, a fried egg, cheese, bacon, sour cream, and sirloin steak – all in one cup.

The deep-fried strawberry-lemonade shortcake that has cinnamon-sugar doughnut holes, homemade frosting, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, a lemon wedge – which you use to squeeze over the doughnut holes. 

The “Elvis” burger has American cheese, bacon and peanut butter on it. 

You can try out the newest foods on Feb. 13, when the fair will host its first “Fair Foodie Crawl.” You can get all the details here.

The FOX 13 family will be there for a “Meet and Greet” opportunity with viewers. It will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. under the big white tent right behind the Expo Hall. 

New this year is an opportunity to run off all the fried food in the first “Deep Fried Dash.” It’s sponsored by the fair, and the course actually takes you right through the fairgrounds. 

It will take place Saturday, February 15 at 7 a.m. Registration is $40, and that includes admission to the fair that day. You can find more details on the race by clicking here.

Plus, there are all sorts of non-ride attractions and shows that will entertain you. You can find a quick guide about that here.

“Even though so much has changed in our state, agriculture is still the heart and the soul of our state,” said Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner, who helped “flip the switch” Thursday morning. “My favorite part of the fair is looking at the faces of the kids when they first come in. You have the Ferris wheel behind them, all the lights, the rides and the food – just seeing that on the kids’ faces is why we do this. It brings joy to us.”

LINK: Additional information can be found at the Florida State Fair website.


Florida agricultural commisioner Nikki Fried and Florida's attorney general Ashley Moody were among the state officials who flipped the switch to turn on the lights for the first day of the fair.