TAMPA — This year marks the 117th anniversary of the Florida State Fair and there are many differences.
“Safety is still a priority. We are still in a pandemic and we certainly want folks to keep safety as a top priority,” said Cheryl Flood, Executive Director.
Face masks are required, hand sanitizer and hand washing stations are throughout the fairgrounds, and physical distancing is encouraged.
“You’re going to see increased spacing between rides, you’re going to see a lot of seating areas where the tables are spread out… But really the fair experience itself isn’t going to change,” said Michael Ragalsky, Chief Operating Officer.
All the entertainment and rides people are used to are still a part of the fair.
“All the fair staples are here, the Gravitron, Tilt-A-Whirl, your Zipper, so we’ve got over 85 rides here for everyone,” said Ragalsky.
“I think people are just ready to get out and again safety is our top priority so we just encourage people to come out and enjoy their time with family, but again be considerate of others,” said Flood.
Of course, the food is a top priority as usual.
“One of the most popular ones so far this year and what we’re hearing this year is the pickle pizza. So, it’s a real fan favorite if you like pickles,” said Ragalsky.
Officials say the past few days have been an escape for people in the community looking for some normalcy.
“I think we’ve all waited. I think we’ve all waited to see a big event happen… We know that folks are ready to come out and really have a great time with their family and friends,” said Flood.
“There’s so much to do here, people aren’t going to be able to do it in one day,” said Ragalsky.